• Mandys Favorite Life Hacks

    Monday, October 30, 2017

    If you feel like you are always running on empty...you need these! 

    Facts: Life is hard, we have way too much to do and we would ALL rather being in sweatpants (or your pant of choice) watching netflix and eating popcorn (or your corn of choice) on the worlds most comfy couch.  Sorry  - I literally just drifted from this post for 5 minutes while I was thinking of that version of heaven. 

    So! What can we do to give us a few extra minutes in our day and maybe a few extra bucks in our pockets? Follow the life hacks you will find below and enjoy the bounty of time money and energy you may find 

    AND! if you have a life hack...I must hear it and I will share it on the air. :) 

    1.) The WAITING file 
    This one comes from my husband and my mom. My mom does the old school version and my husband has one on his phone...they both work. We spend a LOT of our day waiting...Waiting to pick up kids, waiting at doctor's offices...waiting in long grocery store lines (side note: why do I ALWAYS pick the longest line? Every. Time.) 
    The Waiting File is a file my husband created on his phone. My mom carries a literal one in her purse. It is full of links to articles he wants to read, phone calls he has to make, things he needs to get done. Nothing SUPER pressing...but stuff he can get done while he is waiting. That way, you are productive while you wait! I don't do this..but I will :) it's too good not to. 

    2.) The SNACK pack 
    Ok, I'm going to pretend this one is for my kids...but it is straight up for me...and for people without kids too. Our life is often fast paced and lived on the road. I find myself getting my "me time" in a car waiting for my kids to get out of school. I know....its pure luxury. :) I started bringing a pack in my car that has pretzels, granola bars, almonds...healthy stuff...that I can eat if I get to a point and I'm like NOOOO I have no lunch :) or I get hangry...which happens alot. It also works when my middle son forgets his lunch...which I feel like happens 3 out of 5 school days. I do NOT recommend putting fresh fruit in there b/c you will forget and not eat in time and then your car will smell like something died and you will feel gross and it will be all your fault...speaking from experience. :) 

    3.) The Book Table/Cell Phone Basket
    So we have this table by our front door. At 6pm...we all put our cell phones there and leave them there for the rest of the night. Does this happen every night? No...I wish it did....but we are getting better. Do you know how much you can get accomplished without a cell phone? Like, alot :) We also have books by this table. The goal is...but a cellphone down, pick up a book. Exchange one for the other. It helps my kids settle at the end of the day. This won't save you any time or money but it may save your sanity and that's worth all the money in my purse. :) 

    4.) 1 Song Shuffle 
    That's the worst name...call it whatever you want :) We do this almost nightly. Our house will never be the cleanest on the block...but I have a goal of having a house I'm not embarrassed by if people stop over. That starts with this. Each night, someone in the family gets to choose a song. During that song...we bust butt picking up the clutter that fills our house throughout the day. No joke, the other night I picked up 6 pairs of socks from the floor. How? We don't even have that many people in the family and I NEVER wear socks...how are 6 pair on the floor?? Anyways, this makes it easy to go to bed with a clean-ish house. It is amazing how much you can get clean in a 4 minute song. If I see someone being lame and not working...I add another song :) Those are my house rules...you can adjust them anyway you want in your home. 

    5.) Thursday Night Free for All 
    I have a theory. Thursday's are the hardest night of all. Do you feel me on this? You are exhausted...but it's not the weekend. You have put in a FULL week's worth of work and you have nothing left. I feel this way ALL the time. :) So I created this rule at our house. Thursdays are a free for all. No dinner plan...you find it, your fix it. My 5 year old is ALL about this :) She can make her own cereal and she feels so grown up. :) Sometimes, my son will cook for everybody...sometimes we eat popcorn (b/c it is the BEST food God created) I love that there is no plan. It takes pressure off. I so need this to recharge. It saves me energy and that way I can get to Friday without crying like a toddler. 

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    Me Too

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    Every time I see someone on social media write the words #metoo, I wonder how long it took them to push "post". I've been struggling with it for days. 

    I no longer hold on to the hurt and pain from the incident that makes me a member of that group...but that one incident has changed my life profoundly...there is no denying that. 

    I was 9. He was in high school. I just wanted to forget it happened. Too scared to tell my parents, I buried it down deep and repressed it until I was 17 years old. In the years between those 2 days, I developed a deep fear of strangers. I made sure every door in our home was locked every night and every window shade drawn.(some nights I double and triple checked) I had a fear/hatred of anyone who bore that boy's name but I didn't know why. I had boys that tried to hold my hand and I would instantly panic.

    I was in youth group the night I remembered...everything came flooding back. To this DAY I can still tell you every detail from that day when I was that petrified little girl.  I told my parents. They alerted the church we used to attend states away. I wasn't his first victim. I wasn't his last...but I finally spoke out.  

    Since that day, I have used my story to connect with others that have gone through the same thing...I didn't want other girls to feel alone. I wanted them to know that you can move forward...that there IS hope. I remember telling my story for the first time to a young girl who had been abused for years and years and thought she was the only one. We sat in the back of an old church and cried together...she wasn't alone and that made all the difference. It doesn't take away all the pain, but sometimes it makes it more bearable. 

    When my boys were old enough, I sat them down and told them everything. I wanted them to feel safe to tell me if anything ever happens to them...and I wanted to remind them that respecting women isn't an option...it's a responsibility. My daughter is only 5...but she and I have had lots of talks and will continue to have many more as she ages. I worry something will happen to my kids...but I cant 100% control that (oh how I wish I could!) I can only speak up and speak out and love them fiercely. 

    Why am I telling you this? Why am I typing "me too" into my posts today? Maybe because it's a little bit freeing...that some of the unnecessary shame floats away the minute I post this thing. Maybe I'm telling you because seeing other people type the same thing makes my heart break when I realize how prevalent this problem is in our society and I feel a sisterhood with the women brave enough to say...enough. Mostly I'm telling you because if it has happened to you...and somedays you feel frustrated b/c years later you still have effects...I get it. If it has happened to you and you want to forgive and try to move on but it's hard...I understand. I'm here for you if you ever need help/prayer/advice...I'm here.    #metoo. 

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    Off Track

    Monday, October 16, 2017

    Ever been in a season of life where you are cruising through like a BOSS?!? You are organized, healthy, just pure fire...and then BOOM....off track.

    That just describes the last month for me. All summer - I was Jack in Titanic...king of the world, baby. :)  I was doing the right thing with eating and exercising. I was feeling great! I had lost 35 pounds...I felt like I was a better mom and wife...I was kind of killing it...then I hit a brick wall. 

    I'm not sure I hit the wall fast...I think it was a slow sideswipe...then I got tangled in it. I tried to break free, but I couldn't. 

    There are many excuses...parents were in town, crazy days at work, stressful schedule, travel...all valid...but I let them all consume me.

    I found myself way off track this weekend...how did I get here? 

    I think it happens slowly. We start to justify things. I can have this chocolate...I'm stressed!! I don't need to exercise today, my nap is more important. I can stare at my phone instead of making dinner...the kids won't mind. ugh. double ugh. 

    How bad is it? I don't know...I don't feel great about where I found myself this morning. I found myself wishing days away when I used to look forward to tackling them. 

    How do I fix it? Not sure...probably just one moment at a time. I'm not erasing months of progress with a few weeks of bad choices....but stopping it before it gets worse is critical. Every day we stay "off track" is a day that is harder to get back on. Best advice? Start with one thing. I prepped my meals today. I said no to the snickers bars in my boss's office (SO HARD!) and I chose to get up on time instead of pushing snooze 5 times and running around like a crazy person yelling at everybody I'M LATE!!! - Ok, so that was 3 things...but 3 easy things....I'm not king of the world by any means, but I'm getting back on track. 

    Then there is this...remind yourself next time you are on track how easy it is to fall off. Remember my Jack from Titanic moment? King of the world? Yeah, I was probably a little full of myself. I probably thought nothing could break my stride, I. had. it. under. control. Those moments where we start to say...God, I got this...I'll call you when I need you. Yeah...that was me. Whenever we forget God, we are already off track...we just might not know it yet. 

    Here's to day 1 back on track :) 

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