Make Over Your Evenings in 15 Minutes a Day

As I referred to in this post the other day, There’s a brand new Make Over Your Evenings course available! If it interests you, you’ll want to get in on the course today because Crystal is having a fantastic introductory sale.

Do you feel like life is overwhelming and exhausting? Do you run out of energy and focus before the day is even over? Are you ready to make a change?

If you are, then join me in taking Crystal Paine’s brand-new 14-day Make Over Your Evenings course.

In just 15 minutes a day, you learn how to:

  • Establish a Realistic Evening Routine that works — and that sets you up for amazing success!
  • Design a Prioritized To Do List for each day — one that you’re actually excited to wake up and tackle!
  • Create a Best Stuff List of the most important activities and commitments you should be invested your time, life, and energy into right now.
  • Eliminate calendar conflicts once and for all — and how to do so without guilt or frustration.And more!

The course includes a handbook, daily videos, worksheets and projects.

The Crazy-Can’t-Miss-Low-Low-Low Launch Sale Prices:

  • 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET – just $7!
  • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET – only $10!
  • 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET – only $13!

Head on over to MakeOverYourEvenings.com to learn more about the course, and get in on the rock-bottom price for this fabulous course today!

3 Things I Like to Do Each Evening for Success the Next Day

Success the Next Day

Does your day typically start with you feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to do?

As a mom with a newborn and a preschooler, I usually find myself overwhelmed each day. 🙂 Simple tasks such as getting lunch made is a big deal if the baby is awake. However, I’m learning and getting into more of a routine each day thanks to three things I try really hard to accomplish each evening.

I’d love to challenge you to try doing these three things every single night. The things I try to do are not hard or difficult or time-consuming, but by doing these three things almost every single night, I set myself up for success every morning when I get up. And I believe that a successful day begins the night before.

Here’s my list of three things I try to do every night:

Tidy Up

Waking up to to a tidier house makes my heart sing. Especially if the kitchen is tidy with the dishes washed and the counter cleared. Some nights this can seem daunting because I’ve let the entire day’s worth of dishes pile up. Though, if you’re not in the newborn stage of life, you should have a much better time getting this done. Do it, you’ll feel great in the morning!

Go to bed at a decent hour

This is one thing that I have rarely let slide, even if I have website projects to do. As a mom, I’m not guaranteed to get 8 hours of sleep each night. So by making sure I go to bed at a decent hour, or as soon as the baby falls asleep, I know I’ll at least get a couple of hours before I have to wake up again! Sleep makes a happier mommy. Even if you’re not a mom, or have older kids, I can’t stress the importance of going to bed at a decent hour.

Make a To-Do List

Finally, probably the most important task for me these days. Making a to-do list of the things that have to get done the next day. Currently, my list looks a little like this:

  • Brush teeth
  • Shower
  • Eat

Haha! But in all honesty, If I get those done and get Sienna to preschool and other activities, I feel like I’m winning! A to-do list is important for me because sometimes I have a hard time unwinding in bed if I can’t shut my brain off. So jotting down the must-dos, including my meal ideas for the next day, helps me to relax.

What are some things you like to do each evening to set yourself up for a successful day?

Need some encouragement to have a better evening routine? I’m SO excited that Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom will be launching a brand-new 14-day course called Make Over Your Evenings on Thursday.

On Thursday morning they’ll be offering a very very low price and you won’t want to miss it (more details coming soon!). Plus, 25% of all sales will go to a special project in South Africa!

But you don’t have to wait until Thursday! Go HERE and you can sign up for Day 1 for FREE!

Free 12 Week Organization Challenge

Free 12-Week Organization Challenge

Need some motivation for getting your home more organized? Sign up for a free 12-week organization challenge over at S is for Sarah!

What I’m Doing to Prepare for Baby Number Two

What I'm Doing to Prepare for Baby Number Two

Nothing! Ha! Well actually that’s not true, but let me tell you, things are different for me with the second baby. I don’t have huge urges to go shopping or decorate a pretty room. (This baby won’t actually have a room of their own…) However I am a list maker at heart and love to be prepared. 🙂

This time around, I’m mostly concerned with having things in order for after baby’s arrival. So, here you have today, my brain dump of things to prepare for baby #2:

Wash the newborn clothing

I will pull out all the itty bitty clothes, blankets and swaddling blankets that I have from my daughter so I can wash them. They’ll be going in an empty dresser drawer I have.

Buy batteries for the swing and bouncy seat

I picked up a swing and a bouncy seat for this baby (they were free!) that need new batteries. So I’ll be sure to pick some up 🙂 I’ll also check our baby monitor, though I can’t remember if it’s battery operated or not.

Possibly buy a stroller

I’m toying with the idea of purchasing a double stroller, either new or used. My daughter still loves to ride in the stroller, especially if we’re on a long outing. So I think I could get my money’s worth by the amount we would use it. Plus, if I get a “good quality” one, I can resell for a great price.

Pack an overnight bag for my daughter

She’ll be staying with grandparents so really all she needs is her special blankets, PJ’s and clean clothes.

Pack diaper bag

I’m sort of dreading lugging around a big bag again, but really what can you do! The bag will come with me to the hospital, of course. Here’s what I’m planning on having in it:

  • sleepers
  • diapers
  • bum cream
  • muslin blankets
  • wipes
  • snacks

Set up the car seat

Obviously most of these things on my list won’t be done until closer to baby’s arrival, but still they need to be done! Setting up the car seat in the car needs to be done. (Fingers crossed if fits in the car with the other seat!)

Set up the playpen

My daughter slept in our bedroom for the first few months in a playpen beside me and I intend on doing that again. Makes night time a lot easier, plus, the baby won’t have its own bedroom in this small place of ours! And I definitely don’t want a tiny baby sleeping with the other…that just speaks of unrestful nights for everyone in my mind!

Set up the diaper changing station

I have a drawer in an end table in the living room that I stock with some change mats, diapers and wipes. We don’t have a change table due to space constraints and the fact that I find it easier to do diaper changes downstairs.

Stock up on household essentials

I’ll be taking inventory closer to my due date to see if we’ll be needing any toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap…etc. Mind you, my husband or other family members can go out for me if need be 😉  I also want to have gripe water, diapers, wipes and other things on hand.

Pack my overnight bag

I’ll need stuff for the hospital too I guess!  I’ll pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, comfortable clothes, makeup, chapstick, hair brush, phone, camera and possibly my laptop. I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting, but I’ll figure it out.

Freezer cooking

This is a BIG one on my list!  My plan is to spend the month of February stocking the freezer with some delicious freezer meals.  I’d like to have at least 20 dinners on hand. I’ll be mixing up some homemade freezer meals with some store bought pizza, lasagnas and other things that catch my eye. I plan on having my freezer meal plan available for you all to enjoy, including the recipes, shopping list and labels!

Blog scheduling

Another big one on my list. Even today as we “speak” I’m behind the scenes getting things ready on Simply Frugal so that I can take at least 2 weeks completely off after the baby is born. I’ve got some great articles and other things in the works that I hope you’ll really enjoy!

Whew!  I’m sure there are some things missing from my list, or I went overboard in some areas, but the list keeps me sane 🙂

What are some things you did to prepare for baby number two (or more)?

Free 4 Week Simplify eCourse

Sign up for the free 4-week Simplify eCourse to help you curb the chaos, be less stressed, and live with more intention!

Sign up for a free 4-week Simplify eCourse designed to help you curb the chaos in your life from Embracing Simple!

Get The Motivated Moms 2016 Printable Chore Planner for Only $6

motivated Moms

What is Motivated Moms?

Motivated Moms is a chore planning system to help you have a clean and organized home and still have time for yourself! Available as a printable ebook, or an app for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch or Android.

Motivated Moms is a great idea for anyone who would like an easy system to help them to know what to do each day. Just consult the list, do the work, check it off for the day and enjoy your free time!

Are you looking for a planner that tells you exactly what you need to do every day to keep your home and life in order? Motivated Moms Chore Planners might be just the thing you need!

The Motivated Moms Chore Planners lay out a plan for what chores you should do each day to stay on top of your household organization and help keep your home looking great.

I used this planner last year and found it extremely helpful. I definitely recommend it! Especially if you don’t have the time or desire to create your own home cleaning schedule.

There’s no coupon code needed. Sale is valid December 29, 2015 – January 4, 2016.

motivated momsapp

Also for a limited time only, you can get a One Year Subscription to the Motivated Moms app for only $5.99! (No code needed.) Get it from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. Plus: with purchase of year subscription of app data from the website only, a free 2016 ebook download will be included!

Make Over Your Mornings eCourse only $9!


Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind I’m talking about.  Where you’re literally scrambling from the minute one of your kids wakes you up in the morning — until the time you fall in bed that night. 

You know you’ve worked hard and taken care of needs nonstop throughout the entire day, but it seems like there is very little to show for it. 

Well, I am excited to introduce you to a course that will free you from that hamster wheel of exhaustion!

Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com has created the Make Over Your Mornings course to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your days, eliminate decision fatigue, cultivate your soul, and MORE!

Some of the topics covered in the 14-day course include:

  • Discovering why a well-planned morning revolutionizes your whole day
  • Establishing bedtime routines
  • Designing a morning routine centered on your biggest priorities
  • Goal-setting
  • Setting up a task management system
  • Prioritizing exercise and healthy breakfasts
  • Creating internal and external motivators
  • Establishing accountability
  • Building stamina when things get tough

Crystal has created this AMAZING 14-day course that takes a unique three-fold approach:  a chapter to read, a video to watch, and a project to complete – all of which will take no more than 15 minutes of your time. 

We all have time for that!

A tiny investment — just 15 minutes of your day – can yield potentially amazing results for yourself and your family. 

Head on over to MakeOverYourMornings.com and get in on the rock-bottom price for this fabulous course today! (Just $9.00 through January 8, 2016!)

If you’re not quite sure about the course, you can scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up for a free 1 day peek!

7 Simple Tweaks for an Easier Day

7 Simple Tweaks for an Easier Day

7 Simple Tweaks for an Easier Day

Do you wish you had more hours in the day? Does your energy level not match the number of tasks you have to complete? If you are feeling like you need a break, you may just need to be working smarter, not harder. Take a look below at 7 simple tweaks for an easier day so you can start feeling less stressed and more effective. Here is how you can get started.

1. Make your to-do list the night before.

Before you go to sleep, make a to do list of all the items you need to do the next day. Not only will this help you feel more relaxed at bedtime, but it will give you a solid and focused foundation to work on as soon as you wake up. The end result is feeling more accomplished at the conclusion of the day.

2. Let the light in.

As soon as you wake, start bringing natural light in. Open your curtains or take a quick walk outside. It will help wake your body and let your brain know it is time to get to work. This is a simple step that can help get your day off to a strong start and help you be more productive.

3. Keep tasks in the car.

Keep a basket of quick tasks in the car that you can work on when waiting in the car pool line or for your child to get out of practice. Tasks can include a daily journal, items you need to read, paperwork that needs to be filled out, your daily calendar to update, etc. This can help you make the most of those spare minutes.

4. Carry a water bottle.

Not only can staying hydrated keep you more productive, but it can save you time from having to stop and look for drinks. If possible use a measured water bottle so you can keep track and make sure you consume enough water each day.

5. Set realistic goals.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Set realistic goals that you can achieve over the course of a day. This way you will feel success at the end of the day when your list is able to be checked off. Try making a list of 5-7 goals for the day and then gradually work your way up as you get into a groove.

6. Don’t leave loose ends.

Many times we move onto another task before finishing the one at hand. Get into the habit of not leaving loose ends. That can just lead to you feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. Instead, finish one project or task before moving onto a second so you can feel a sense of completion and accomplishment.

7. Utilize helpful apps.

There are thousands of apps out there that can help make your day easier. You can find everything from time saving apps, to digital calendars, reminders, to even apps that send you daily inspiration. Try experimenting with some new apps and see if you can find any that are helpful to you.

What are your techniques for making your day run smoother?

Free Printable 2016 Weekly Household Planner

unnamed (2)

Here’s a GREAT freebie from The Confident Mom! It’s a FREE printable 2016 weekly household planner!  If you are a day planner user you’ll want to check out this free (and pretty!) 2016 planner!  You receive two versions with your download: a ‘blank’ version and a ‘just tell me what to do’ version.

If you’d like to build a complete home management binder, you can also purchase a special supplement pack for only $6.00.

The Weekly Household Planner Supplement includes the following digital fill-in forms:

  • Master Family Planner. Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
  • Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner. You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
  • Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet. Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
  • Babysitter Information Form. This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
  • Quick Contacts. Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
  • Family Emergency/Medical Information Form. Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form—it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
  • Website/App List for Kids. An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
  • Website/App List for Me. A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
  • Account Keeper Sheet. Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
  • Household Maintenance Log. Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
  • Special Occasion Reminder Chart. To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
  • Gifts Received List. Record gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
  • Let’s Plan a Party Form. Keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
  • Blessings For Your Home. Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
  • Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List. So you arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
  • New – Monthly Bill Schedule. Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form!
  • Bible Bookmarks. Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire bible in a year.

The printable 2016 planner is free, but you can add the supplemental home management forms (which are editable) for only $6.00!

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Order Christmas Cards

Buy those Christmas Cards

It’s about this time of year when I really start to get excited about the Christmas season.  I get a bit of an urge to turn on the Christmas carols and swap out my fall decor for some winter decorations.  Also, have you seen Pinterest lately?  This is the time of year when amazing Christmas stuff gets pinned!

Alas, it’s so easy to get carried away dreaming about all the projects you want to do.  Adding too many crafts, baking and activities can be overwhelming!

Every year I struggle with wanting to make all sorts of neat things to feature on Simply Frugal.  But the reality is, I have limited time with a very busy little girl underfoot and other responsibilities to deal with.  So any project I do accomplish has to be simple and quick.  Preferably something I can do in about an hour, including picture taking!

All this to say, you don’t have to pack your schedule full of Christmas activities, baking, crafting and shopping in order to have a festive and memorable season.

This is why I’m breaking down the steps to an organized Christmas by one task a week.  It’s good to have direction and a plan in place!  I know without a plan, I become quite scatterbrained! 😛  8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas is about creating a more relaxed Christmas season with just the right amount of extra projects and activities.

Here’s this week’s task:

Order Christmas Cards

Now, I realize that many of you are not likely to order custom Christmas cards but for those of you that do, now is a great time to do so!  Custom Christmas cards can take a while to arrive in the mail and if you want them to be sent out to friends & family in a timely fashion, I’d get on it this week. 🙂

Here are a few designs I love, along with some deals!

vistaprint

Vistaprint Canada has a great selection and currently offering their Christmas cards at 60% off for a limited time with the coupon code STOCKUP. (expires November 22, 2015)

snapfish

Snapfish.ca is offering 70% off cards (set of 10 or more) with the coupon code DANCER until November 23, 2015.  Also, get 20 free prints if this is your first time ordering from Snapfish.

shutterfly

Shutterfly usually has some great coupon codes going that should save you a bundle on high quality cards!

pinkdotdesign

Pink dot Design has a wonderful selection of Christmas cards!

etsy

Etsy also has a ton of shop owners who create beautiful custom cards and templates!

If you aren’t the type to order custom cards you can of course buy a set of boxed cards and add a photo and a letter if you wish!  That’s what I’ll be doing this year.  I bought a box of cards last year on clearance so I’ll be sticking in our family photo and hand delivering to friends and mailing to out of town family.

Oh, and I’ve got a post telling you how you can create your own FREE custom photo cards.  You won’t want to miss it!

This week along with ordering/buying Christmas cards, take care of these tasks as well:

  • buy stamps, envelopes, if necessary
  • write Christmas letter, if desired
  • put family photos inside, if desired

Do you send out Christmas cards each year?

Here are the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series so far:

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas