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) ๐Ÿ‘š 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) ๐Ÿฅ˜ 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) ๐ŸŽ 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) โœ… 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) ๐Ÿ‘– 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) ๐Ÿ“– 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time,

XOXO Crazy Jess ๐Ÿ˜˜

************************************ 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 Truthsย 


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 (๐ŸŽถhello sleep, my old friend…๐ŸŽถ, 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 ๐Ÿท and run that bubble bath ๐Ÿ›€ 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….) ๐Ÿ˜œ

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 ๐Ÿ˜˜

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

Post Op WLS (RNY) Post-op Week 8 Updateย 


Welcome back to my blog, or if you are new here, welcome!  I hope you like what you read and will subscribe! 

Today’s post is a new topic that I haven’t blogged much about. I have made a couple YouTube videos about it on my vlog channel though (so follow me on YouTube as well if you are interested in random beauty/WLS/foster parenting topics and other such randomness)

Ok enough self promotion (that is so annoying and I apologize in advance)

If you don’t know already, I had WLS (weight loss surgery, for those new to the lingo) 11/7/16. Although there are four types of surgery options, I had RNY aka standard gastric bypass. 

For the last two months I have been trying to get used to my new normal. I have also been hesitant to post or vlog much about it. I think for me the hesitancy was due to me being in denial that this surgery was going to work for me. I kept thinking “ok great, I’ve had surgery but will I really loose any weight?” That is completely ridiculous to think that way but apparently it’s totally normal. 

So as it turns out, I will (and have) lost weight and I figured it could be helpful for others considering the option of WLS if I honestly chronicled my journey through my vlog and blog. I may not always be consistent but I will randomly be posting my progress, set backs, NSVs (non scale victories) and more. 

Don’t worry, my blog (and vlog if you follow me on YouTube) will still continue to be beauty/makeup and foster parenting related too and not all about weightloss and post-op life to keep things interesting.  That’s the beauty of following me, you never know what you might get as my topics are all over the place, but that’s me and this is my life. 

My hope is that someone out there finds me relatively entertaining and laughs at my sarcasm and decides to follow me on this journey we call life. That they can relate, get a laugh or two and be motivated to take charge of their life and health to be the best they can be as well is my ultimate goal. 

So as I stated my surgery date was 11/7/16, and I am two months out or 8 weeks basically.  Now that I’m adjusting to this new way of life, so many things in my life are different and those things are happening really quickly. 

I posted a vlog about it, as well as went over my WLS food product empties for the month of December. Check it out below. 

Regarding total weight loss see stats below:

Pre Surgery: 280 lbs

Day of Surgery: 270 lbs

1 Month Post Op: 251 lbs

2 Months Post Op: 241.6

Total lost since surgery: 28.6 lbs (38.4 overall) 

I’m very proud of the lbs lost but I struggle and work hard at this every day. Struggling with battling old behaviors, not always staying on plan and not always counting calories and measuring out my food just to name a few. I will always be honest about what I’m doing well and what I’m not doing so well at along the way to be as open and honest with you all as I can be. It’s so important to understand that WLS is not a magic wand that will take all your weight problems away.  It is simply a tool to help you reach your weightloss goals that requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and self control. 

So that’s my progress update for now. Don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe for all my future updates and randonmness!

Instagram: crazyjessfh

Facebook: crazyjessfh

Until next time,

XOXO,

Crazy Jess ๐Ÿ˜˜

Free Address Labels

Head over to Shutterfly.com before tomorrow to get two free sheets of customized address labels.

Perfect for this holiday season when you are sending out all those holiday cards. Use offer code 2Free at checkout and just pay shipping. 

(FYI – 1 set = 24 labels)
The hardest part is deciding which one to get!  They are all so cute. 

Until next time,

XOXO

Crazy Jess