I don’t know about you, but I need SIMPLICITY in my life. The last thing I need right now in this season of motherhood, wifehood, and employeehood, is complexity. I can’t afford to take four steps when I can take one. If that makes sense.
So, I’ve been employing, if you will, a few totally random things in my life to make things easier, streamline things, etc. etc. etc. Catch my drift? These are, admittedly, totally random, but hopefully one or all will be helpful to at least one of you!
1. The Shampoo / Conditioner secret!
This may not really “simplify” things exactly, per se… BUT, it has been a LIFE CHANGING, GAME CHANGING hair tip for me! Tati, one of the YouTube beauty guru’s I watch shared this tip a few weeks ago and I tried it and holy moly. The tip is to use conditioner FIRST in the shower… and THEN shampoo! My hair has never felt healthier or bouncier! It doesn’t get weighed down, it doesn’t get greasy as fast, and I don’t have to wash it as often. Now, I wouldn’t do this ALL the time because you don’t want to overstrip your hair… but I’ve been doing it a couple times a week and it’s made a massive difference in how my hair feels.
Ever since trying this method out, I’ve only had to wash my hair every couple days instead of every day! It’s been a HUGE time saver for me because let’s be honest, ain’t no mom got time for washing and styling hair every day.
2. Eye shadow palettes FTW! (FTW = for the win, in case you didn’t know… I often get that question)
One thing I do still LOVE to do is play with makeup. I play with makeup ALL the time and it’s a way I just feel relaxed. I know some moms (and some women) don’t feel the same way about makeup, but I really do love to do my makeup. However, I don’t always have TIME to do a full face of makeup or do a full eye look or sift through a bunch of eyeshadows in my makeup drawer to figure out what I’m going to do that day.
Enter eye shadow palettes.
These are not a new phenomenon (obviously), but it’s only recently that I’ve become OBSESSED with them.
It started with me finally acquiring the Urban Decay Naked 2* palette back in November. I fell in LOVE. I was a little late to the game on it, but I can see why everyone talked about it and raved about it. Then for Christmas I got the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette and I fell in love all over again. And now recently I finally got the new Too Faced Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette* (which, by the way, smells like CHOCOLATE. For real!)!
I love the ease of an eyeshadow palette like the Chocolate Bar or the Naked palettes because it just takes a lot of the “guessing” out of getting ready and doing your makeup. There are so many just easy, simple looks you can do with them. Swipe just one color on your lid for an out-the-door look, or spend some more time mixing and matching the colors for a more intense or dramatic look.
I’ve been thinking about sharing a couple quick and easy eye makeup tutorials with the Chocolate Bar palette… would any of y’all wanna see one or two?? Let me know in the comments!
Yes, eyeshadow palettes can be a little pricey, but I’ve found that they really, REALLY are worth the money and worth the investment for the quality and convenience of them.
3. BB Creams / CC Creams.
Again, not a new concept… but new(ish) to me. Now that I’m getting older and I’m actually noticing fine lines and wrinkles and dark circles (thanks, motherhood!) I am realizing more and more the importance of protecting my skin from the sun, but also I want to even out my skin tone! I’ve been loving the Maybelline BB cream lately… not only does it give me just enough coverage that it’s wearable and easy to apply with just my fingers, but also it has SPF 30 in it so I also have crossed off that skin-protectant I’m looking for.
4. A gym with CHILDCARE! (you know, for the moms who need it)
So now that we moved to a few towns over, we found a gym near our new house that has FREE childcare!! We pay the same amount monthly that we did at our old gym (there’s a discount if you join as a couple) and I can now go to the gym, drop Lilly off in the nursery, and have some me time and take a class or hit the treadmill or do some weight training.
This is my first time back working out since I had Lilly. If you followed me when I was pregnant, you know I worked out pretty much EVERY day of my third trimester pregnancy all the way up until the day before I went into labor. Since my labor was pretty tough and I had a long recovery time and then our old gym didn’t have childcare, I just basically stopped working out.
And I started feeling awful. Just, straight up, awful.
I’ve been having a hard time losing that last bit of baby weight. I’ve been feeling lethargic. I get winded easily. It’s bad. I’m in horrible shape right now and I know it. And I missed working out. Finding a gym with childcare has already been SUCH a huge blessing. I put those classes and workout times on my calendar and treat it like an appointment that I cannot miss.
It’s good for me (I get alone time and I get exercise so that I can be healthier!) and Lilly gets time with other kids and new surroundings and toys and stuff. I’m sure she gets pretty sick of my face every day. 🙂
5. If you don’t have a gym with childcare near you, that’s okay! Need other ideas?
Go for walks. I walk with Lilly and our dogs every day and I love that time. Pencil in times for walks every day or even a couple times a week. Even walking for 20-30 minutes makes a huge difference.
Consider child swapping with a friend. Do you have a friend that also has a baby or young child? See if you can switch off for an afternoon a couple times a week or even just once a week… you watch her baby while she is able to go off and do something and vice versa. My friend Dani and I child swap and it’s a huge help!
6. To-do lists.
Okay, I know this seems basic… but without my to-do lists, I would seriously be lost. I keep track of EVERYTHING on my Remember The Milk account. I have heard great things about Evernote and may be making the switch soon… but I’ve been using Remember the Milk for almost six years!
This is another amazing app that has totally streamlined the photo organizing process for my blog posts! I did a whole blog post on BlogStomp awhile ago… you can read more about it here if you want to!
8. Notes (in my phone)
I have “Notes” in my phone dedicated for certain things. One entire note is dedicated to blog post ideas. ANY time I have an idea for a blog post, I write it down in that note. That way, if I’m trying to come up with an idea for a post, I can just refer to that note and boom… I have like 100+ ideas at my disposal.
I have an entire note dedicated to grocery stuff. So, if I’m cooking in the kitchen and I use up all the milk or olive oil or oregano, I immediately go to that note in my phone and write it down so I know to get it next time I’m at the store.
I have an entire note dedicated to Lilly stuff. Milestones I want to remember, things I need to get for her, etc.
It’s just super easy, accessible and I’m able to get to it pretty much right away if I need it.
9. A Grocery Shopping Drive Thru?!?!
If you have a Harris Teeter near you, see if they have the “Express Lane.” I recently found out about this service through a friend of mine and oh-my-gracious it’s amazing. I do not do it for every time I grocery shop, but on those days when I just do NOT have the time or energy to get Lilly in the car, to the store, out of the car, in the store (while she’s fussy or something), get the groceries, check out, load them in my car, etc… the Harris Teeter Express Lane is the JAM.
You basically can order your groceries online and then set a time for pickup at the store and then you pull up, and they load the groceries in your car for you and everything!! You never have to get out of your car. How. Seriously. Amazing. Is. That? Revolutionary if you have kids, if you ask me!
I also have been big into couponing again and you can give them your coupons and add coupons online and everything. I keep saying this but it’s amazing. I will often clip the coupons I find in the paper AND I will find and print coupons from Coupons.com and print those off as well.
I’m not sure if other grocery stores do services similar to this, but if they do, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to know if other stores do…
10. The Bible Reading Plans
Since I’ve been really trying to get better at spending more time reading the Bible, I’ve found reading plans in my Bible app to be a LIFE CHANGING (literally) thing. I set reminders every day to remind myself (I have to, I admit it) to read that particular day’s passages… That way I can check it off as I go.
I do still love to sit down with my “old-fashioned” study bible, but usually my husband and I read our physical bible together… and my app is more for my daily reading. If that makes sense…
11. Super Cook
I’ve mentioned this site, Super Cook, before (a long time ago) but it’s been SO helpful for when I need help coming up with dinner ideas. Basically, you put in what ingredients you have on hand, and then it gives you recipe ideas that you can make with THOSE ingredients. How cool is that?! It’s great for when you’re in a pinch!
12. Regular “Closet Clean-outs”
Now, since we just moved, I won’t have to do another one of these for a while, but moving showed me how much “stuff” I’ve accumulated… WE’VE accumulated… that’s just clogging up our lives.
Going through and just PURGING really helped before moving, but it also made me realize what we actually NEED and what we actually USE.
I’m going to get in the habit of really trying to do this “as I go” – meaning, if I come across something that I just don’t use, don’t need anymore, etc. instead of keeping it and pushing it in the back of a closet never to be seen for another five years, I’m either going to sell it, donate it, or trash it.
It’s time to really hunker down and rid ourselves of clutter!
It’s time to realize that we can’t do it all. We’ve got to stop trying to do it all and be it all. We’re not impressing anyone… we’re just running ourselves ragged and we’re sacrificing our health, our welfare, our safety, our time with our friends and time with our families.
I don’t get this right all the time. But I’m trying to be more diligent and more intentional with my time and my energy and my resources. I’m making little changes here and there and the more you make those little changes here and there, the more it adds up in the long run! Seriously. It really, REALLY makes a difference.
And when I think about the fact that Mother’s Day is coming up (I may be a little excited about it… seeing as how I’ve been mentioning it a time or two), I think about the fact that I don’t want to go out to a nice, big and fancy dinner. I’m excited about the fact that I’m going to be spending the day with my husband, my daughter, my sister, my brother-in-law, my nephew, and my aunt… just relaxing, eating yummy food, and enjoying each other’s company.
No big to-do, just simplicity at it’s best. And that’s exactly how I want it.
BUT, if you are looking for gift ideas for moms, great giveaways for moms, special offers around Mother’s Day for moms, be sure to check out the Mother’s Day deals on Coupons.com. I seriously use Coupons.com for SO many things… shopping online, grocery shopping coupons, gift ideas, etc. It has helped me simplify so much of my life. I don’t know what I’d do without it. For real!
Also, as a bonus, we are giving away a $150 gift card to Sephora (the holy grail of beauty stores!!) and Coupons.com is giving away a bunch of awesome prizes on their site. Check it out!!
*items marked with a * were purchased with a Sephora gift card I received from Coupons.com!