Top 6 Life Hacks – Cut The Chaos

I feel like I start out every blog or vlog with the same note about how I’m so sorry it’s been so long since my last post…and I truly am.  But life is crazy at the moment (more info on that in the coming weeks)…however in the meantime, I did want to share what I have been up to in an attempt to try to cut the chaos in our lives the best I can.  

So with that said…

I am in no way a perfect homemaker, wife or Mom. I’m the first to admit that. But I have implemented a few life hacks in to my weekly routine that have definitely made a huge positive impact on my anxiety, stress level and sanity. When my home is cluttered or not organized I feel very overwhelmed, but at the same time I’m always so busy that some weeks I have a total lack of control of the chaos.  Even though the thought of being lazy and not doing these things is appealing sometimes (ok all of the time, after all I have many hours of Real Housewives of ____ on my DVR to catch up on),  I remember how less stressful and anxious I will be in the upcoming week once it’s all done and push myself to make them happen.

1) 👚 Wardrobe Planning

I plan out the outfits that Baby K is going to where for the entire week, and sometimes I do this for myself as well, although inconsistently.  I always do this for him though.  Doing this once a week for the next seven days is a huge time saver and makes our morning routine so much easier.

2) 🥘 Weekly Menu Planning

My chef hubby hates to stick to a planned menu but I really like it because I always know what we are to have and when. This allows me to make a corresponding grocery list and results in only having to go to the store once a week rather than multiple times. It also helps hold me accountable for my diet and what I’m eating. Failing to plan results in me making poor food choices and as far as I have come post op after having gastric bypass that is not good and will not help me make it to my final weight loss goal.  It’s also perfect for those days you get home and your brain hurts and you don’t want to have to think about anything you just want to automatically know what to cook and get to it.  We then write down the weekly menu on the notes section of our dry erase calendar in the kitchen and mark off what we cooked.  This also allows us to move things around when necessary in case our day doesn’t go as planned.

3) 🍎 Scheduling Grocery Pick-Ups/Shopping Online 

This, hands down has been a saving grace for us lately.  After we decide what we are going to eat for the week, I then log in to our favorite grocery stores website and place an online grocery order for pick-up.  Not only is this a HUGE time saver, in that I don’t spend an hour mindlessly going up and down each aisle with no plan on what I’m buying, but it’s also saved us huge amounts of money as we are strictly sticking to what’s on our list for the week.  Since we have started this, we spend only $50 a week on groceries, where before we would spend anywhere from $100-$150 (in multiple trips throughout the week) because we weren’t planning effectively.  This is a must try if you haven’t already done so.

4) ✅ Daily/Weekly Goal Setting/To Do List Making

Some weeks I am not as adamant about marking everything off the list but I do have a daily/weekly to do list that is on the wall in the kitchen.  It is framed so we can use a dry erase marker and mark off what we have gotten accomplished for the day/week as we go.  I have it broken down in to tasks to do daily, and tasks to do on a certain day of the week such as laundry, cleaning, miscellaneous to-dos etc.  See below an example of the one I created.  My husband and our family make fun of me for this but it really helps me stay organized and I feel a sense of accomplishment as I get to mark off something from the list each day.

5) 👖 A Laundry Schedule

Like all families I found that we were literally drowning in laundry.  Dirty piles, clean piles that need to be folded, piles that we can’t remember if we washed or not, piles that were folded but never put away etc.  What we realized however, is that the reason we always had so much laying around is because we were consistently waiting until everything was dirty and then trying to do a laundry marathon in one day washing six loads of laundry back to back.  That is total insanity!  Who has time to wash, dry, fold and put away six loads of laundry in one day?  I’m over it by maybe the second load if we are being honest.  So, we developed a laundry schedule which has us only doing one load of laundry a day and that one load is washed, dried, folded and put away all in the same day so it’s not nearly as overwhelming.  It’s been amazing and I haven’t run out of clean clothes yet since trying it.

Example Laundry Schedule:

Monday: Colors
Tuesday: Towels/Linens
Wednesday: Darks (Hubby’s)
Thursday: Whites
Friday: Baby K’s Clothes
Saturday: Delicates
Sunday: Darks (Mine)

6) 📖 Reading/Less Screen Time 

I love to read but most people don’t know that about me. Why?  Because I’m always so busy they have never actually seen a book in my hands, or if they have, they have seen it took me 12 months to read it. Reading is a stress reliever for me that for so long I didn’t make time for. I have found now that I am reading every evening instead of falling asleep to my Facebook feed that I’m sleeping a lot better at night. Coincidence?  Maybe. But it’s currently working for me so I’m going to go with it. It’s also helping me knock out quite a few books on my “must read” list.

So that’s it.  That is my current top 6 life hacks to cut the daily/weekly chaos of a full-time working, wife, mom and human.  What are some of your life hacks that save you time and sanity during the week?  Share below!

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you will subscribe if you aren’t already.  I can promise you mediocre posts on an inconsistent basis that you definitely won’t want to miss out on regarding, makeup & beauty, saving money/good deals, life post-up weight loss surgery, foster parenting, being a wife and mom and other general life musings.  LOL 🙂

Until next time,

XOXO Crazy Jess 😘

************************************ Stay tuned for a future post update post on these Future Goals listed below (maybe 2018 resolutions?) to see how I did or what I did to make them happen.  

– Blog/Vlog Topic Planning & Post Scheduling

– Hosting my first Giveaway

– Increasing my blog/vlog traffic/following

 
 

 

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Mom Truths 


Most of you are aware that my husband and I are Foster Parents.  If you aren’t aware, well surprise!  We have one amazing foster son currently whom we have had since he was three weeks old (Baby K).  

Side note: My husband and I do not have any natural children yet, although we do hope to grow our family through adoption, we still maintain hope that God will give us a baby naturally.  I’m throwing this out of the way now because it’s the number one question we get asked when people learn we are Foster Parents.

With that said, it should be very clear to you now, hopefully, that I’m a new Mom.  I do not pretend to know everything about being a Mom and I don’t spend hours on Pinterest/Google/Youtube researching the sound of the gas my baby just passed obsessively (most days) but in my short soon to be 8 months of mother hood I have learned a few things that I wanted to share.

So here you go, prepare to be dazzled and I’m sure my book deals and talk show offers will be rolling in any day now….

1) We all don’t know what they heck we are doing and are literally just winging it. Every. Single. Day. 

2) Sleep really is a long lost friend that you won’t see for a long time. Enjoy it while you still can (🎶hello sleep, my old friend…🎶, oh…that’s not the actual lyrics?) 

3) Our kids are the cutest and most amazing things that have ever graced this planet and you can’t tell us otherwise (whether they are foster kids or birth kids it doesn’t matter) and even when they are acting like the spawn of the underworld. 

4) Moms and women in general need to stop being so judgmental of each other. What works for me and my baby/kid(s) may not work for you and your baby/kid(s). That doesn’t make either of us wrong, it just makes us different and different is OK!

5) Everyone has an opinion on how you should Parent, the best way to care for your infant, the only way to potty train etc. but it’s exactly that, it’s opinions. Take them for what they are worth and raise your kids how you see fit. You are doing a great job and you aren’t going to mess your child up by letting them cry it out, or the way you potty train, etc. 

6) People will absolutely judge you based on the appearance of your kids, especially in the south where we live. Seriously though, as long as they have decently clean clothes and shoes on their feet you should consider that a win and let it go. Don’t worry about what other people say/think. A superman Halloween costume with owl bedroom slippers and a Paw Patrol jacket may not match but it makes your kid happy so just let them do them and go with it.

7) It’s OK to take time to do something for yourself. Get that haircut/massage/pedicure or go see that movie by yourself and feel no guilt!  You deserve it!  You can’t take care of others if you can’t or aren’t taking care of yourself. Think of it like a gas tank. If your tank is always empty or running with the low gas light on you aren’t going to get very far now are you?  So fill up that tank!  Buy the makeup or Lularoe (within reason lol!) or make the appointment for your hair/nails or pour that glass of wine 🍷 and run that bubble bath 🛀 tonight!  You NEED it and that’s ok!

8) You can’t always do it all by yourself!  Ask for help and don’t be afraid or ashamed to do so. I’m sure you have someone or people you can reach out to (family, church groups, a spouse, your best friend or other Mom/Foster Mom friends etc)  There is truth to the saying “it takes a village” so use that village when you need them and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  It doesn’t make you a better Mom trying to be a super hero that tries to take on everything by yourself, not that you aren’t an awesome Mom for your attempt at doing so.  But refer to item #7 above again – your tank sometimes may run low so fill it up!

10) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Kid’s really don’t have unrealistic expectations on anything, especially babies. If they are fed, changed and cuddled then they think they are literally winning at life and things can’t get any better.  If they are an older child, as long as you play with them, talk to them and show interest in the things they are passionate about or enjoy by devoting some uninterrupted one-on-one attention their way they are good to go.

11) Never pay full price for anything!  They grow out of things so fast or move on to a new development stage in the blink of an eye so there is no use to spend hundreds of dollars to ensure the Baby/Toddler product economy is thriving. Clip coupons, buy things on clearance, yard sale, check out mom groups on Facebook for things for sale or that people may want to trade and be proud of the thrifty money saving Mom you are!

12) It’s perfectly normal to check numerous times at night to make sure your baby is still breathing. It seems crazy, or in my case sometimes makes me feel like I am a total psycho one step away from being committed, but we all do it!  We are all good Moms and that is why we do it. We just want to make sure our little ones are safe and it is perfectly natural to do this. After a while you will find yourself doing it a lot less often but still, rest assured you are not alone. (Hanging my head in shame as I type this, while at the same time am entering the nursery to check in on Baby K for the third time in an hour…totally normal….) 😜

13) Put your phone down.  It’s so second nature for us to have our phone in our hands 24/7 because we don’t want to miss a good Mom hashtag or Instagram/Facebook post opportunity, but in doing so we are not fully present and we are missing out on the moment itself.  I’m totally guilty of this so I’m not preaching, I’ve noticed myself doing this more and more as Baby K progresses and I keep telling myself to stop, breathe, put the phone down, and enjoy the moment more.  It’s easier said than done though, I mean who doesn’t love a good Mom hashtag or cute photo opportunity to show to our friends and family all over social media?

14) Make time for your significant other.  Just as much as taking care of yourself is important, so is your relationship with your partner.  Make the time to have uninterrupted conversation (aka kid free time).  Get a babysitter, plan a date night and stick to it.  Love Muffin and I try to have at least one date night a week.  That date night can be as extravagant as going out to a nice dinner on the town, or it could be just putting the baby to bed, having a picnic dinner on the living room floor and binge watching our favorite show together.  Whatever it is, do it.  You have to nurture your relationship as adults/partners to flourish as parents together.

Note: for those single parents out there – this is the time that you should set aside to get out.  Go out on a date (if you are interested in dating), or if you are not actively looking to get involved with anyone, make dates to visit your friends and go out on the town or have dinner with a group of friends.  You must have social interactions with adults for your sanity! It’s also important for you to continue to nurture your friendships/relationships with other adults.  Remember that village we referred to earlier?

15) Lastly, do what works for you and your family.  My Mom Truths are just suggestions from my time in the hood.  Mother hood that is.  Which has only been brief, so clearly I’m no expert.  These are the things that work for me and my family and I hope may be helpful for some of you other Moms/Foster Moms/Step Moms/Adopted Moms out there.  I’d love to hear your Mom Truths too so comment below and let me know how you maintain your marriage/home/sanity while juggling life in the Mother-hood.

Until next time,

XOXO,

Crazy Jess 😘

Top 10 Drugstore Favs | Spring 2017

It’s been a while since I have posted a favorites blog or vlog. Since I have been using a lot more drug store products lately I have found some great items that I absolutely adore and I thought now would be a great time to share my current favorites.

Most of these items are under ten dollars and were purchased on sale and with coupons at Walgreens, Rite Aid or Target.  I have provided links below for more details regarding the product.  Note some of these links are affiliate links as an FYI.

L’Oréal infallible eyeshadow in color Endless Pearl

This is a must have in my collection.  I use it as an eye shadow base no matter what eye look I’m doing for the day immediately after priming my eyelids.

Milani Coconut Infused Lip Oil Treatment

Obsessed about this lip treatment is an understatement.  I put it on multiple times per day because I love how it smells & feels on my lips.  My lips have never been as moisturized as they are now after using this stuff religiously and it will be a permanent staple in my makeup bag/purse/night stand.

Elf Blush palette (Light)

I had low expectations for this palette when I bought it but was pleasently surprised how amazing the colors were.  They are pigmented, super blend-able and you can create so many versatile looks with the palette (day time/night time, office appropriate or night out etc).  I also love how you can remove the pans and customize the palette.  That’s pretty impressive for the price point.

Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme

I adore these!  I have three shades so far.  I’ve swatched them below.  As you can tell I’m mildly obsessed with nudes at the moment.  I also love how these smell like vanilla.  So many of my other liquid lip products have gross chemical smells to them which turns me off from using them, but not these!  They dry quickly, but don’t dry out your lips and they last a long time wear wise.  The bottom one is the only one of the Metallic ones I have.

L’Oréal Sublime Bronzer ***This sadly was limited edition and is no longer available***

I found this at the grocery store on an end cap with a tear off coupon pad attached and thought “why not try it out”.  I ended up absolutely loving it and am devastated to find out it is limited edition and no longer available.  I love how the shade is kind of an ashy/gray shade which makes it perfect for contouring.  I like to use my bronzer to contour on most days (because I’m lazy and usually putting on my makeup as quickly as I can in between bottle feedings and diaper changes for Baby K).  So this is perfect for a Mom on the go with fair skin like myself.

Rimmel Stay Matte powder

Out of all the setting powders I have tried, both high end and drug store this is hands down my favorite and the most affordable of all.  It’s less than $5!  What a steal.  The only thing I don’t like about it, is the super cheap packaging (to be expected for the price point).  The clear plastic lid falls off in my makeup and always seems to break or crack no matter how careful I am with it.  That won’t stop me from buying it though because it makes my makeup stay in place for 12+ hours and doesn’t make my face look cakey.

Maybelline Falsies Mascara

Only tried this because I got a great deal on it via a drugstore sale and paired it with a coupon but it’s now one of my go-to drugstore mascaras.  It really makes my lashes look super voluminous and fake as well as adds some length to them.  I usually wear 2-3 coats of this on my lashes and do not pair it with any other mascaras.  If I want a more dramatic eye look I do a base coat of a lengthening and separating mascara first and then add 2-3 coats of this and I’m out the door and ready to take the day head on!

Wet & Wild Highlighter in color Precious Petals

This highlighter has been mentioned so much but that’s because it deserves a shout from the roof tops.  It’s stunningly beautiful for a drug store highlighter.  Wet n Wild has really stepped up their game with their makeup, while maintaining the affordable prices they are known for and this highlighter is probably one of the best Wet n Wild products I’ve gotten to date.  This is all I have been wearing this month and couldn’t be happier.

Wet & Wild Photofocus Foundation

This foundation really is pretty awesome for the price.  There aren’t many color selections though so it’s a shot in the dark regarding skin color matching but if you can find a shade that works for you then you will love this foundation.  It looks great on, doesn’t make your face look too oily, is a great price, and is perfect for people with combination skin like myself.

L’Oréal Magic Lumi Primer

I wouldn’t say it’s the best primer I have ever used, as it doesn’t appear to do a great job of filling in all my pores, but it does make my skin have a healthy luminous glow that you can see after my foundation is applied.  I’ve used it under all sorts of foundations and have been pleased with the results.  It’s been pretty good and worth a mention but I wouldn’t say it has become my holy grail drugstore primer.

What are your current drugstore favorites?  Have you purchased anything new I should try out?  Comment below and let me know!

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to like comment and subscribe. You can also follow me on Instagram Facebook or YouTube as well! 

Product Empties – Winter/Spring 2017

So it’s been a hot minute since I have posted anything recently.  Life has just been busy and sometimes life commitments get in the way of my hobby of blogging & vlogging.  I really do promise to be more consistent in providing updated content.  I have so many things I want to share with you all and not enough time to do it all in!

With that being said, since I waited so long to film my empties vlog I broke it up in to three different videos so it wouldn’t be so long that no one would want to watch.  If you aren’t familiar with what an Empties vlog is, it is basically where you go through your trash and give a quick review of the products you have used up.  Providing your thoughts on the product, if you would buy it again or if you would recommend it etc.  Empties blogs/vlogs are one of my favorite topics to read and watch because it really shows you what your favorite vloggers/bloggers are actually using.  If someone has actually used up an entire product then it seems like their opinion on the product is probably more honest and real (that’s just how I look at it anyway).

So…if you are interested, the links for Part 1, 2 and 3 are below.

I hope you will check them out and if you aren’t already following me on YouTube don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe!

Last and most importantly, If you have a YouTube channel I’d love to follow you as well so leave me a comment below & link  to your most recent video so I can check it out.

Until next time,

XOXO,

Crazy Jess

On My First Mother’s Day

I don’t even know where to begin in writing this post. It’s been on my mind all week as this Mother’s Day has slowly approached. I am going to try as eloquently as I can try to put in to words what I’m feeling and I hope you can follow along.  

You see up until this year I wasn’t a Mom yet.  Up until this year, Mother’s Day was tainted with the memory of my biological father’s suicide.  I don’t want to get in to all that, but to provide a little back story for those that aren’t already aware, this devastating news was delivered via a phone call that would forever change my life on Mother’s Day when I was 15 years old. 

I don’t think of it often and throughout the year(s) it’s almost like a distant memory that happened in someone else’s family, not mine. But on this day, and this day only, the memory flashes back and it makes me nauseous and has every year since. 

I guess I should say made me nauseous, as in past tense. I say that because this day is forever changed for me from now and for the rest of my life and I can’t even express how blessed and grateful I am for that on so many levels.  

You see this year is the first Mother’s Day that I’m a Mom. A parent. Someone’s Mom.  I still can’t even believe it. Typing and reading the words still seem so unreal and untrue yet they are so amazingly true and real. 

On February 6th, 2017 our lives were forever changed when our local Department of Social Services brought us the most beautiful creature I have ever seen, our foster son whom we affectionately call “Baby K” whom was only 3 weeks old.  I can still remember exactly what he was wearing and exactly how he smelled that day he arrived at our home. 

I was immediately smitten with this amazing tiny human being and sometimes still forget I didn’t actually give birth to him myself, even when it’s blatantly obvious that our skin tones are different and being that it is totally visually apparent resulting in stares in public, assumptions about whom his dad might be, and many other stereotypes and well meaning yet rude comments from strangers that I don’t care to get in to. 

My point is that I have never experienced the wave of emotions and the automatic motherly instincts that took over my body that day. It was totally different than how it felt when we received our first temporary placement (a 3yr old girl whom we knew from the beginning would only be with us for a brief time). It was overwhelming the rush of emotions that swept through me that day and continue to do so each and every day as he ages.  Feelings of fear, anxiety, inadequacy, abundant love, compassion, and instincts to defend and protect just to name a few. There has never been so much truth in the term “Mama Bear” as there is for me now. It was exactly like that, a new Mama Bear 🐻 completely smitten with her new Baby Cub. 

On this day this year, I am so grateful to have been chosen by God to be Baby K’s Mom, whether that be temporarily or for the rest of his life. I am feeling emotions and love that I never knew was possible and in parts of my heart I didn’t even know existed. I am feeling hopeful that God’s plan for Baby K’s future, no matter what it might be, will be His will, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t secretly hope that God’s plan was for him to legally become ours. It makes me feel selfish to admit that out loud but he is my cub forever in my heart no matter what happens, for this I know is true. 

From this day forward I will know and understand what being a Mom is all about, how it changes your very core and your mind and heart forever. I will remember the precious moments I have shared with my Baby Cub these last three months (he just turned 4 months last weekend). I will remember experiencing all his “first” milestones of development, and seriously there has been so many in such a short amount of time, who knew!  

I will cherish in my heart the way his face lights up in a big bright smile when he hears my voice. I will emblazon in my mind the look of love, innocence and adoration I get to witness when I look in to those beautiful baby brown eyes of his and he looks back at me. 

I am forever changed. I will never forget no matter where God takes us on this journey these feelings, these moments and this precious soul. He will always be the one that changed me and for that I am truly blessed and thankful. He is my Cub forever and I can’t believe God chose me. I am truly honored and vow to do my best to protect and love him for the rest of my life. 

As I type this he is asleep in my arms after a middle of the night feeding. I want to freeze this moment in time so I can remember it always. The milk smell on his breath from his bottle and the scent of lavender from his baby shampoo I want to bottle up and smell forever as it’s the most magical and precious fragrance I’ve ever smelled. 

My first Mother’s Day…I want to remember it and cherish this moment forever and always. 

❤️ Crazy Jess