This Evening Routine Could Change Your Family

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My girls started back to school this week, which means it is time to prepare for busy, frantic, stressful evenings. Unless it’s not. Imagine if there was a way working moms could get home from work and actually enjoy their evenings with their little ones without feeling rushed and panicky. Recently, I stumbled upon some advice that I believe I can shape to fit my family that will make all the difference in the world.

Introducing Prime-Time Parenting for Working Moms

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In the article, The Nightly Routine that Helps Working Moms Get All Their Parenting Done in Two Hours, the author writes, “It’s called Prime-Time Parenting. It starts around 6 p.m. and ends around 8 p.m. In between, parents put away cell phones and screens of all kinds. The kids put them away too (unless they’re needed for homework). During that two-hour window, parents focus exclusively on their children.”

It sounds so simple in theory, but those of us who work know that it is harder than it sounds. But, I think we can actually do it – if we plan and have solid routines in place for the following 30-minute chunks of time every weekday evening.

Homework Time

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While I am cooking (or ordering takeout), the kids should be working on their homework. This will give me time to hop back and forth between the kids and the kitchen. And, hopefully, by the time dinner is ready (or has arrived), the girls will be finishing up homework. At this point, we will pause on school stuff for dinner.

Dinner Time

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Since I have already meal planned for the week, I know in advance what we are going to be eating, so I can factor the time into our homework routine. When it is time to eat, we will eat together and catch up on the day.

Clean-Up Time

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Instead of doing the dinner clean-up myself, the family will take part in a mini clean-up routine each night by clearing their dishes as soon as dinner is over and helping me straight up whatever mess we made cooking.

Quality Family Time

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Finally, with the remaining time, I will keep my phone off and stay focused on my people. I will look over my girl’s homework to make sure they did it correctly. I will help them pack their bookbags and lunch boxes, so they are ready the next morning. Then, we will spend time together as a family watching a family-friendly show we all love or playing a game. Then, I will help them get ready for bed following our regular bedtime routine.

It may be wishful thinking, but I’m going to try. And, I realize that not every day will be the same – especially when dance classes start – but I believe I can make the necessary adjustments. By doing a little Prime-Time Parenting, I have a feeling this school year is going to be the best one ever!

What can you do to improve your evening hours and make life a little less frantic?

Wellness Needs for Every Woman

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There’s much talk about wellness these days, and I am here for it. As women, we too often put our own well-being on the back burner while taking care of everyone else around us. When we do, we feel depleted. When we burn out helping others instead of ourselves, we put our overall health and well-being at risk. Ladies, it’s time to take charge of our wellness.

Healthy Eating

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Let’s talk about food. I love food, but I have learned that what I eat really matters. I’m not saying you have to be extreme when it comes to what you eat – I love a savory carb-filled meal and a sweet delicious sugary treat. However, I’ve learned that when I am not balancing my indulgences with healthy meals, it takes a toll on my body. I feel gross. Since I know this is true for myself, I take strides to eat healthier.

Proper Sleep

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When you are a working mom, it seems like you never have enough time. So, you wind up staying up late at night trying to get to the things you didn’t during the day. Or, we toss and turn all night worrying. According to Everyday Health, “81% of woman report having problems getting a good night’s sleep daily. When women get a bad night’s sleep, they are 4x more likely to feel irritated or angry.” If I want to smile, I need to sleep.

Regular Exercise

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I always feel better after I exercise. I know not every woman feels the same, but regular exercise is important. The American Heart Association recommends, “Get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.”

Self-Care Management

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Another wellness area many women tend to neglect is self-care. Women often feel guilty for taking time to do something for themselves. If this sounds like you, stop it now! I am all about self-care – whether it is a spa day, yoga, or meditation – you need to take time to do something that improves your overall well-being from time to time.

Staying Up to Date with Annual Physicals

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Yes, life is busy. But it isn’t too busy for you to skip your annual physical exams (especially not for years at a time). No, they are not fun, but they are absolutely necessary. It is at annual physical exams and mammograms where doctors can identify possible issues. It’s always better to be proactive than find a problem too late.

Work/Life Balance

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Finally, achieving a solid work/life balance will do wonders for your overall well-being. According to Everyday Health, “Financial health is tied to our wellness.” Therefore, it is natural for women to work hard at their jobs. However, we should not allow work to be the only thing that defines us or determines our wellness. Instead, it is important to do things outside of work that bring you joy. By having a healthy and happy work/life balance, you will do better at your job and feel better about yourself.

No More Feeling Guilty for No Reason

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Have you ever lost sleep because of something seemingly small that you did or did not do? Every woman I know has second-guessed herself at some time because she is afraid she has hurt someone’s feelings or let someone down. When you are a working mom, you feel guilty for not doing enough with your kids at home. When you are a stay at home mom, you feel guilty for not doing enough to provide financially.

If you feel guilty more often than you would like, you are not alone. 96% of women feel ashamed at least once a day. That’s crazy! It’s no wonder this generation of women feels stressed out all the time. We are carrying around tons of guilt baggage for things we shouldn’t even feel guilty about doing or saying.

Women, It’s Time to Trash the Guilt Once and For All

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After seeing how guilt does nothing but inhibit me at home, in relationships and the workplace, I am done. I want to get rid of feeling guilty over things that I shouldn’t. I’m sick of saying “I’m sorry” all the time for things I don’t even actually need to apologize for.

I caught myself recently feeling guilty and apologizing to someone recently, and after gaining some perspective realized I had not done anything wrong. They should have been the ones apologizing to me! Why do we do that?

Now that I am more aware of my personal issue, I have done my homework so I can tackle it when it strikes at unnecessary moments.

Here is My No-Guilt Game Plan

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Look for Reasons - First, I am going to look for the reasons. IS there any actual reason for me to feel guilty? If there is, then I need to do what needs to be done to make it right. If not, then I need to accept that this is not my burden.

Identify the Feelings Behind the Guilt – Next, I will question where the feelings of guilt are coming from. Often, we feel guilty because we are really feeling overwhelmed or angry. What are my true feelings about the situation?

Shake It Off – If it was not my fault or was just something minor, I will choose to SHAKE IT OFF. Carrying around guilt baggage will only make life harder. If you can quickly move on, you will be much better for it.

Be Clear with Your Expectations and Limits – Next, I plan to be upfront about my expectations and limitations. This way people cannot expect me to do more and I will not be made to feel guilty because I have been clear about what I can and cannot do.

Accept Imperfection – Finally, I will stop being so hard on myself. There is no perfect woman – myself included. Rather than placing unrealistic expectations on myself, I am going to strive to do the best I can each day and be proud of what I achieved in my 24 hours instead of focusing on what I didn’t do.

Who else is tired of feeling guilty all the time? What is your game plan for tackling guilt?

When a Potential Employer Ghosts You

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I’m going to be super vulnerable here. Recently, I was ghosted after a string of job interviews with a company I was really interested in. Even worse – they seemed really interested in me! I interviewed with a company for over two months and four interviews.  We talked about pay, how my workday will be, etc. The hiring manager was supposed to get back to me about the package and the offer, and then I heard nothing. #Ghosted

What to Do If You’ve Been Ghosted After a Job Interview

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As ridiculous as ghosting a potential employee after an interview is, it happens all the time. You are not the only one who has been ghosted in this way. According to Career Builder, more than half of job candidates say they do not hear back from companies at all.

Before you feel any embarrassment or shame, know that upfront. As I am walking through this myself, here are some things I am doing to help me deal with it.

  • Feel Your Feelings. It happened, and you are allowed to feel upset about it. Allow yourself to be upset by a potential employer giving you hope and then disappearing.

  • Don’t Rage Online or Send Hate Mail. However, don’t allow your disappointment to guide your decision-making. For instance, while you have every reason to be upset and angry, it is never a good idea to blast a company online or to send an angry email. Vent to your friends and family – but do not vent online. It can come back to haunt you.

  • Don’t Give into Negative Self Talk. A potential employer ghosting you does not mean you had a bad interview. Don’t allow this person’s lack of courtesy to lead you down a spiral of self-criticism or self-doubt.

  • Don’t Give Up on Finding an Even Better Job. If a company ghosted you, then you don’t want to work for them anyway. Trust me. There are employers who will value you. Don’t give up the search.

It Says More About Them Than It Does You

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Ghosting interviewees says much more about the company than it does you. If companies are so big that they do not have the time to send a quick email to let you know they are going with someone else, then this is a company you don’t want to be an employee of anyway. It speaks volume of the work culture.

There May Be an Actual Reason for the Silence

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However, it is also important to remember that there may be legitimate reasons you have not heard back. For example, the hiring process may be taking much longer than the company anticipated. Or, the company may have a “no feedback” policy for interviews.

What to Do to Help Avoid Being Ghosted

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Now that you have felt the burn of being ghosted after an interview, you want to make sure you don’t feel that pain again. Unfortunately, you cannot control someone else’s actions. But you can take control of the questions you ask regarding the hiring process in your next job interview. Here are a few things you can do that will help you avoid being ghosted after a job interview:

  • Ask about the hiring timeline.

  • Ask if they will let candidates know if they did not make it to the next round of interviews.

  • Ask what the deadline is for making a job offer.

  • Ask if they will notify candidates that they are going with another candidate as a courtesy.

  • Send a handwritten thank you that also expresses your interest in the job position after the interview.

Have you ever been ghosted during a job search? What was your experience like?

10 Of My Favorite Ways to Treat Myself

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Some days you just have to treat yo’self. After working long hours and coming home to take care of my precious daughters, I have earned a treat. If you are like me, you understand the necessity of treating yourself to something special every now and then. Depending on my mood (and my budget), the way I choose to treat myself varies widely. All that matters is that I am doing something just for me.

1. A Glass of Wine

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Some days the easiest way to treat myself is with a glass of wine in the evening after the girls have gone to bed.

2. Fresh Flowers

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I love having fresh flowers in my home, so this is one of my go-to ways to treat myself. Their beautiful blooms always brighten my mood.

3. A New Handbag

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When I really feel the need to treat myself, I head to Rebag and make a handbag swap. Nothing says “treat yo’self” like a luxurious handbag.

4. Fabulous Footwear

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By now, you all know my love for fabulous footwear. The way I most often treat myself is by splurging on the newest designer footwear.

5. Eat Extravagantly

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Life is busy, and my meals are often rushed, so when I feel the mood to treat myself, I like to eat well – really well. No microwaveable dinners or fast food. I want fine dining and food I can’t eat every day.

6. Drink Coffee Leisurely

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All moms know that we seldom get to drink our coffee while it is still warm, so on a “treat myself” day, I make it a point to enjoy my coffee while it is hot. I head to my favorite coffee shop and linger. No rushing and no waiting until it is too cold.

7. Soak in the Tub

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My bathroom is my sanctuary. When I soak in the tub, the kids no the bathroom is off limits to them. This is me-time. Plus, have you heard a hot bath burns as many calories as taking a 30-minute walk.

8. Indulge My Sweet Tooth

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We don’t tend to have candy in our house at all times. It is a special treat for the kids, but it is also a special treat for mom. Every now and then, I have earned the right to indulge in my favorite sweets.

9. Lotion Up

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I’m also a big fan of things you can do for yourself as a special treat that are also good for you, like pointing on a great body lotion. Lotions are so good for your skin, but they also make you feel good. When it comes to treating myself, I use a lotion that I don’t just every day.

10. Read a Gossip Magazine

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Somedays the best way to treat myself is to turn my brain off. I like to do this by reading a trashy gossip magazine. It takes little brain power, but it is highly enjoyable.

What about you? What are some of your favorite ways to treat yo’self? Let me know in the comments!

How to Take Control of the Holidays

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The holidays are upon us, and if you are like most of the women I know, you are already stressing out. Even the American Psychological Association have studied the stress of the holidays on women in particular. According to their findings, “Women say they have a harder time relaxing during the holidays and are more likely to take on all of the tasks associated with family celebrations, such as shopping, cooking, and cleaning.” Sound familiar?

If so, you are not alone! They even made a film about this exact thing last year called Bad Moms 2. The film is all about how to take back control of the holiday season. Knowing that we are heading straight into what is the most stressful time of year for women, let’s talk about how to de-stress your holidays.

Manage your expectations.

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First, you need to give yourself a reality check. As much as we all love Insta-worthy holidays, we need to manage our expectations. The table settings may not look just like they did on Pinterest, but let’s choose to focus on getting the meal on the table and the family and friends gathered around it.

We all get caught up dreaming of perfect Christmas moments, and then we end up let down when reality doesn’t line up with our expectations. Instead, embrace the fun and the faults of the holidays. My biggest tip - Do not expect anything to be perfect.

Less is more.

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It is so easy to get caught up in the more, more, more mentality of the holiday season. There are so many events, so many decorations, and so many presents to buy. But, here’s the thing. When we just do more and more, we wind up loving the holidays less and less.

Attend fewer events and spend more time in your Christmas pajamas watching movies with the ones you love. Put up fewer decorations and feel less cluttered – and less overwhelmed when it is time to pack it all back up. Don’t go crazy buying presents. It’s better to buy something that will be well loved than a bunch of things that will only last a season.

Do what you love.

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If you want to take control of the holiday season, then do what you love. This also means not doing what you hate. So, if your family and friends want you to host and cook an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner and you despise cooking, just say no. Find a compromise, such as you will host and decorate, but someone else can cook the meal. If you love Black Friday shopping, then make it a priority to go! If you love to go look at Christmas lights, then add it to the calendar.

The point - Every yes is a no to something else, so choose wisely.

Have a plan. And a plan to toss your plans.

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If you don’t want to lose your sanity between now and the New Year, it is a good idea to have a plan. However, this is a plan written in pencil, not in permanent marker. Write down the events you want to attend foremost, and then see if you have space to add anything else to your busy holiday calendar. Make a Thanksgiving menu and plan your table settings in advance.

But, be prepared to make adjustments. Something will go wrong, and your plans will go out the window. If you go into the holidays with this in mind, you won’t melt down when it actually happens.

What are your tips for taking control of the holidays?

15 Ways to Achieve a Healthy and Happy Work/Life Balance

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As a working woman, I learned early on the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. If I don’t, it becomes very obvious that I am juggling too many plates at one time. So, I have worked hard at trying to be the best at my job when I am at work and the best mom and spouse I can be when I am at home.

Here’s the thing. Nowadays, I am proud of my work/life balance. However, it didn’t happen naturally. I had to be intentional. Here are the things I do that help me be my best self at home and work:

1. Plan ahead.

Calendars and planners are your friends. Use them. Make a note of when you have big work projects on the shared calendar, so you know not to schedule important family events during this same time.

2. Talk with your spouse at the beginning of each month.

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At the beginning of each month, look over the calendar together with your spouse. Many families use family calendar apps. While these are great, I find it is still helpful to actually talk about what lies ahead and make plans for childcare, date nights, and me time in advance.

3. Change your clothes.

Your work wardrobe should not be your all-the-time wear. As soon as you get home from work, change into lounge wear. This signifies to your family and your body that you are off the clock.

4. Have designated hours at home for work.

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Most people will be required to do some work at home. The problem is too often we lose control of the amount of time we are working at home. Instead, have a set time to do work-related tasks at home.

5. Enjoy your weekends.

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To maintain work/life balance, you have to have a life! So, enjoy your weekends! Find ways to relax and do things you love with the people you love on your days off each week.

6. Take vacations.

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Speaking of days off, you absolutely have to use your vacation days! More than half of Americans leave vacation days unused. Don’t let this be you. You must take vacations with your family. And, those moms reading this post should take kid-free vacations throughout the year to stay sane.

7. Use alarms.

Time can easily get away from us if we let it. Instead, make use of the alarm on your phone. Whenever you have a small work task, set the alarm so you don’t wind up doing more than you should.

8. Stay healthy.

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If you want to be your best self at home and work, then you have to prioritize your health. Eat well, sleep well, and exercise.

9. Learn to say no.

Ladies, I cannot say it enough – you have to learn to say no! If the boss asks you to do something that is not part of your job description, say no. If your family asks you to handle one more thing, say no.

10. Have set “me time.”

Add “me time” to your calendar and do not feel guilty about it! You need time for yourself. Period. Whether this is time in the evening for a glass of wine and a bath or a night out with your girlfriends, it is important.

11. Leave work on time.

This is a hard one for many of us, but you should make it a habit of leaving work on time. Again, set an alarm that reminds you it is time to wrap things up. Announce to colleagues that you will be leaving at 5 pm so if they have anything pressing, they need to tell you beforehand.

12. Escape the office.

As often as possible, escape the office for your breaks. Eat lunch outside or in a totally different setting.

13. Set work boundaries.

Good bosses know you have a life outside of work, but they still may need a reminder that when you are on vacation, they need to leave you alone. For instance, tell colleagues you will only be checking email in the morning and not taking phone calls.

14. Make time for the things you love.

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Nothing will make you feel more like yourself than doing the things you love. So, it is important to look at the calendar and see where you can squeeze in time to take part in some of your favorite hobbies.

15. Give your loved ones some attention.

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Last but not least, make every effort to give your loved ones your full attention for a little bit of time each day. It is so easy to try to multi-task when you are busy, but for a few minutes, put the phone down and look your loved ones in the eye.

9 Time Management Tips to Help Busy Moms Avoid Burnout

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Mom friends, do you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? It is totally normal to feel this way! We all go through a season where we never have enough time to get everything on our to-do lists checked off. But, you don’t have to live that way forever.

Here’s the truth. I am not the best mom, wife, employee, or friend when I am burnt out. When I am exhausted, everyone is affected. As a result, I have had to learn to manage my time before that happens.

All moms need breathing room. They need space in their days – even if it is just fifteen minutes here and there. But, if you don’t learn to manage your time, you will struggle to find even fifteen minutes. Don’t let this be you! Instead, here are some tried and true ways to help busy working moms avoid burnout.

Look closely at how you spend your time.

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Before you come up with a whole new time management plan for yourself, you have to evaluate how you actually spend your time. For the next week, chart what you do hour by hour. Then, you can begin to see where you need to make some changes.

If you are like me, you will discover that there are huge chunks of wasted time in your day. You may also be relieved to find you aren’t crazy – you really do spend hours in the car driving your kids from school to practice to play dates.

Avoid the social media time suck.

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I know I am not the only mom who has fallen victim to the social media time suck. Without even realizing it, I waste so much time scrolling through Instagram or watching other people’s stories. While I love social media, I have come to realize I need to limit the amount of time I spend on it. Need help with your social media addiction? There are apps for that.

Set daily goals. Set weekly goals. Set monthly goals.

If you are not in the habit of making goals or creating to-do lists, that has got to change. One of the most effective ways to manage my time comes from setting goals and using lists to reach these goals. But, be realistic. What can you actually accomplish today without burning out? What can you put off until later in the week?

Prioritize your health.

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Moms, we are so bad about prioritizing our health. But, when mommy doesn’t feel good, everyone in our home suffers. So, try your hardest to get enough sleep and exercise – and make healthy eating choices. Choose the food that will give you lasting energy instead of the caffeine that will give you a short burst.

Learn the power of the word NO.

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Here’s another hard one for moms. You have to learn to say no. You cannot do everything for everyone. It is okay to say “no” when the PTA comes calling, or your neighbor needs a favor. Saying “no” does not make you a bad person.

Ask for (and accept) help.

Likewise, you should learn to ask for help when you need – and then accept it! If you want to manage your time, you will need to delegate tasks to the rest of your family. As your kids get older, they can help you out even more. But, in the meantime, ask friends and family for help when you feel like you have reached the end of your rope.

Outsource whatever you can.

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If it is in your budget, outsource whatever you can. Choose a meal delivery service or use a grocery delivery service. You will be amazed at how much time you save by simply not having to do the grocery shopping!

Organize your daily routine.

We all have time management issues that occur over and over again. For example, do you have a hard time finding your keys or purse in the morning? Do your kids always seem to be losing their shoes? Create a station by the door with the things you need to grab right before you walk out the door. This also becomes the landing spot when you get home. Purse, keys, bookbags, all go in the same spot each day. Simply getting rid of the morning search and rescue for necessities will be a major time saver.

Use time management apps.

Before we go today, I encourage you to invest in a time management app. You know what works best for you. Some moms find using timers for everything helps to keep their families on task. Other families use list sharing apps. Find an app that works for you – and use it!

Why I Love Daily Look and You Will Too

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Ladies, I have something to share with you today that is going to make your lives so much easier! If you are like me, you love to shop. But, even though I work in the fashion industry, I find myself lacking time to shop. Between working and being a mom, I just don’t have the time to shop ‘til I drop anymore.

So, when I heard about Daily Look, a personal styling service, I knew I had to give it a try. Now, I’m hooked! This service works by having you complete a style quiz that allows you to tell the curators about your style, budget, size, and lifestyle preferences. While there are other online styling services, Daily Look stands out from the rest because it is a premium styling service offering the ultimate in personalized styling.

I have been thrilled by what my stylist selected for me. Using my style quiz and my Instagram feed, she crafted a box with looks that are on trend. And, I never even had to leave the house! Moms, rejoice! This service is simple and convenient. It is delivered right to your door. You pick what you want and send back the rest. No hassles!

Guess what? InRachelShoes followers can use the promotion code RACHEL10 to get $10 off your first box!

Tempted but still hesitating? Here are a few more reasons why I love Daily Look:

No Shopping with Kids!

Shopping with kids is no fun. You are in a rush, and you cannot give shopping your full attention. You have to quickly pick things off the rack and then try them quickly. You wind up just buying what fits and not necessarily looks good. With Daily Look, someone else finds the clothes for you, and then you get to try them on in the privacy of your own home – no kids and no rushing allowed.

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A Major Time Saver!

Daily Look is super convenient. All I had to do was complete the style quiz and “favorite” some looks on their page. Then, my stylist went to work. While I was working and taking care of kids, my Daily Look stylist was pulling together ensembles for me.

No More Fashion Ruts!

Trends change, and sometimes we fall behind. Moms, in particular, are notorious for losing their sense of fashion. With Daily Look, there are no more mom jeans, yoga pants, or t-shirts with holes. Instead, you will receive looks that fit your style and are also trendy. You will also discover new looks that work with your lifestyle.

Just the Right Fit!

One of the reasons women often hesitate to shop online is because they are worried about how the clothes will fit. This is not a problem when using an online styling service like Daily Look. The stylist has your sizes, knows your body shape, and has images to guide her. You will receive clothes that fit your body’s shape and make you feel confident.

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Daily Look works hard to find outfits that you will actually want to wear. They don’t just send you a random box of clothes that are trendy in your size. They curate a wardrobe just for you. I love how personalized my selections are and how much care my stylist puts into finding clothes I will love wearing.

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Things I Wish I Knew Before Having Kids

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Being a mom is my greatest joy, but I don’t want to gloss it all over. Sometimes being a mom is hard. Really hard. Before having my babies, I had some ideas of what being a mom would be like and what having kids would look like. If you are a mom reading this then you know where I am headed – I got a lot of it wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom. And, some days I do a pretty good job. But, that doesn’t hide the fact that there have been many (many) surprises. I’m sure we all have our own lists of things we wish we knew before having kids, but I’m sharing mine with you today.

You can function on less sleep.

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Hear me out! I said you CAN function – not that you will function well! I thought before kids that I had to have my beauty sleep. Having kids means not only losing your beauty sleep but sleeping a whole lot less than is recommended by doctors. But, you find you can survive on little sleep.

Traveling is much harder with kids.

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It is no secret that I love to travel, and I always imagined jaunting off with my family in tow. While we do take vacations with our kids, traveling is much different now. The places we travel are much more kid-friendly, and the trips themselves are more challenging.

Your house will never be as clean as it was before kids.

Gone are the days of spotless anything. I wish I had never complained about the state of my house prior to having kids because I know better now.

Mom brain is real.

People joke about “mom brain,” but it is a real thing! When your brain is focused on taking care of little humans plus work, family, and friends, it is understandable to forget things now and then.

Things do not go according to plan.

Those plans you have? Throw them out the window. With kids, I have learned to lower my expectations. When I plan and expect too much, I am bound to be disappointed.

You will value quiet so much more.

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The quiet use to make me a little crazy. I wanted some noise. Now, I crave the quiet. When the house is quiet, it feels like a gift.

You will need mom friends and friend without kids.

You need women with kids to commiserate with, and you need kid-free friends as well. Both are important. Your mom friends will understand when you need to cancel last minute, and your kid-free friends are always up for spontaneous fun.

You do not need all that crap.

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It is so easy to shop and shop and shop for adorable baby stuff. While the baby stuff wasn’t as terrible as some people make it out to be, the problem is that it never stops. As your babies grow, so does the crap. At some point, your home will look less like your space and more like a miniature playground.

You will miss carrying a tiny purse.

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I love purses, but with babies, you switch to a diaper bag. Diaper bags have come a long way, and now you can find fashionable designer diaper bags. However, after months of lugging around a giant diaper bag full of stuff, you will look forward to the day when you can leave the house with just a wristlet.

You will change.

As much as you say you will not change after having kids, you absolutely will. Between the lack of sleep and the new people who are holding your attention, you will change. Some changes will be bigger than others, and some will be barely noticeable. I’ve known women who go from loving processed foods to being all about all things organic. It happens, and that’s okay.

You are capable of more love than you dreamed possible.

Before having kids, you have no way of knowing how your heart will expand after your little ones enter the world. Even when I am at work or away from my girls, they are always on my mind and in my heart.