How to Create Your Morning Routine

Last week we talked about creating an evening routine in order to have a smoother morning. You can read about that and get the free printable here. With school starting in a few weeks, many of us will be changing up our morning routine. This year T will be enrolling in an early learning program for the first time so there will be new things to add to our routine. The following are the steps to follow when transitioning to a new routine.


1. Perform a brain dump of everything that needs to get done in the morning. This should include absolutely everything including what you already do now.

2. Once you see everything listed out, dole out the tasks to who will accomplish them. Maybe mom dresses the baby and dad helps dress the toddler. Maybe mom puts lunch in the bag while dad puts the baby in the car seat. Everyone shock have jobs to do and they should know what they are. This will help mornings run much more smoothly. There will be far less confusion.

3. Put together a schedule. With more things to do in the morning it's good to put together a time table of when things should get done. This way you know if you are on time or not. Everyone should have their own schedule. You don't want to have to look through a bunch of items to figure out what you need to do. Have a toddler who can't read? Use pictures to create his or her morning routine. For example toucan have a picture of toothpaste and a toothbrush followed by a picture of clothes and then a picture of breakfast.

4. At least a week before school, have a trial run of your routine. See if anything needs to be changed or times tweaked. Practice until you think it's just right.

5.  Build an extra few minutes into your routine for the inevitable mishap. Things happen. The baby has a blowout just as you're leaving the house or the toddler spills juice on his school clothes. It's best to have a few minutes built in to accommodate these types of events.

Are you ready for back to school or are you dreading it? I just registered T yesterday and it got very real.  While I'm excited for T to make new friends and have stories to tell of what he did, I still can't believe how fast he's growing up.

In the meantime, we will enjoy whats left of summer.



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Things to do Before 32: Update 1

So on April 11 of this year I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I'd like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here.

Now that it's been about 3 months since that initial post, I thought I'd update you on the progress through my list.

1.Make 5 recipes from Pinterest - OK, so I haven't started this one yet. My excuse is that I have a newborn. At this point I feel accomplished if I remember to defrost the meat for dinner at all.  Hopefully, we can try something soon!

2. Go to the zoo at least 3 times - We have gone to the zoo once so far since I made my list. I don't think this one will be an issue. We plan to go at least once more over the summer and we always go in the fall for their Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo. Our membership makes this a lot easier. you can read my tips for zoo trips. here.

3. Go on a real vacation - This one might have to take a back seat for a while. We had wanted to take a family vacation in the fall. However, with all of the medical expenses from Hailey's diagnosis not to mention her constant doctor's appointments I don't think it's in the cards. We can revisit that in the spring and see if things have changed.

4. Read 2 inspiring books - So far I read Eat That Frog which I talked about in this earlier post. So that leaves one book left!

5. Rent or sell my house - Well we had to put this on hold what with the baby being born and all.  Therefore, we had taken it off the market for a while. However, last week we signed with a new realtor and we hope to get things back on track.

6. Move to new home - We're currently looking at houses to move into. Since we can't float 2 mortgage payments, moving will likely have to wait until this home is sold.

7. Get back in shape after baby - I am officially in training mode. I relaxed initially and let my body heal, but I recently started to get the itch to get my sweat on, so I did. I haven't officially weighed myself yet but next week we will have a weight and progress picture update.

8. Perform in 2 dance productions - Well I'm still working on the get back in shape part, so we'll see about the performing part...

9. Finish writing my book - In all honesty, I haven't worked on this in a while. I haven't had a break from grad school since Christmas time. The summer semester began immediately after the spring semester ended. I hope to work on this during my month off of school between the summer and fall semesters.

10. Start creating vertical images for blog This is one of the first things that I started working on. I haven't changed every image, but I have changed most of them.

11. Do 3 DIY projects from Pinterest - This is just as stagnant as the recipes one. My problem is not lack of time per se but instead not knowing when I will have time or how much, so I don't pick out projects or have the right supplies. I will work on this.

12. Declutter - We are doing really well with this one. We organized Tyler's room, the living room, the downstairs closet, and have made progress with the basement. The next major room will be our bedroom!

13. Plan a T and mommy date at least once a month after Hailey is born -Having a newborn that breastfeed a made this difficult the first 2 months. The boys had one on one time out of the house, but Tyler and I didn't. I'm looking to have a lunch date with him next week, which is my last week off before I go back to work.

14. Complete 27 credits of grad school - I have now completed 18 credits. Next week I will finish my second summer class and if all goes well, I will be up to 21 credits. Then 2 courses in the fall will bring me to the 27 credits. Then just a few more classes and requirements and I will be a Math Master!!

15. Have consistent date nights with the hubs - As I said, this is super hard for us because I work days and my husband works nights. We set a goal of 2 dates a month. So far, we are doing well for July. This past Sunday we went to a concert together and we will be seeing Guns N Roses on the 24th. Next month I don't think the dates will be so fancy, but we definitely intend for them to happen.

16. Complete cookbook for my nonprofit - Before I had Hailey, I presented the idea of doing a cookbook to my board. I had explained that with a newborn I would not be able to take the lead on this project. However, a cookbook would be a lot easier than organizing and holding photo shoots for the calendar. We have done nothing to gets his project going.

17. Have a couples game night - Well my husband got me cards against humanity. Now we just have to invite people over to play....

18. Plan and have a girls brunch - With baby being born almost exactly a month after my birthday, I haven't had time to plan this one yet. Plus one of my friends had their baby about a month after me. Hopefully soon we can all get together.

19. Participate in 2-3 charity walks - I am already registered and started fundraising for the diabetes walk. That one is close to my heart. I'm looking into the Autism Speaks and St Jude, and Lupus Walks in the fall. These all, however are on Saturdays which conflicts with T's dance class.

20. Run a donation drive - I'm looking to do this closer to the holidays. I will possibly be doing a book and pajama drive again.

So that's my progress so far on my list on things to do my 32nd birthday. I've made pretty good progress on most of the items, there are just a few more to start working on. Mainly the ones involving Pinterest. Hopefully I can make some headway there for next time!

Do you have big birthday goals? Tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great weekend!!



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5 Tips On How to Get Ahead In Math This Summer

5 Tips On How to Get Ahead In Math This Summer

As you may know, I am currently studying for my graduate degree in math, so math skills are very important to me. Math is not only about computation, but also logic and ordered thinking. The following is a guest blog post from Zap Zap Math on helping your kids maintain their math skills over the summer in fun ways. 

Things to do While Breastfeeding 

When you have a newborn and you choose to breastfeed, you can spend much of your day with a small person attached to your boob. With 8-12 feedings a day clocking in at 20-40 minutes each, this is a lot of time spent sedentary. Here's a list of things you can do while breastfeeding to help pass the time.

1. Talk to your baby - Being in such close proximity, this is great time to chat to your little one. As my 3 year old likes to tell me, they can't talk back, but they can definitely hear you and recognize your voice. Talk to you them about your day. Babies are great listeners.

2. Catch up on TV - You are in one spot for like 30 minutes, prefect time to catch up on your favorite sitcom. You can also split a drama between two feedings.

3. Read a book - For those middle of the night feedings, put on a little nightlight and enjoy a good book. It's quiet, won't disturb anyone, and is a great time to read the latest bestseller.

4. Catch up on social media - You only need one hand to operate your phone right. You can use this time to catch up on Facebook and Instagram and all your other favorite social media sites. Share updates of the baby with friends and family.

5. Write a blog post - You can write a post one handed on your phone while breastfeeding. It may not be as efficient as using 2 hands, but it's a productive way to use your time.

6. Have a sandwich - A sandwich is easy to eat with one hand so you can have it while breastfeeding. What a great time to nourish yourself while you nourish your baby.  Just try not to drop crumbs all over the baby.

7. Read a story to your older kids - It may be hard for your older kids to understand that you can't run around with them while you feed the baby. Have story time with them so you get to have quality time with your older kids and the baby gets to hear the story too. Plus older kids love to help turn the pages!!

What have you done while breastfeeding your child? Share in the comments.

Next week we will be talking post-pregnancy body including stretch marks, fitness, sleep, and belly. See you then!



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Pregnancy Update and What I'm Missing

For those of you following along, on Friday, April 1, 2016 I reached 35 weeks of pregnancy.  I am super excited to be heading towards the home stretch!  We have been continuing to take our weekly belly pictures and Tyler continues to make an appearance in them.  You can see all the pictures from each week on my Instagram page.

Here are the pictures from the last few weeks:

All in all, I have been feeling really good.  I continue to work out 5-6 days a week including light cardio and weights.  I try to eat healthy with a few splurges here and there.  Hailey has been pretty active in there but not nearly as violent as Tyler was.  With Tyler I felt a lot more sharp kicks and jabs.  With Hailey it feels more like shes just rolling around in there.  Although I feel 100 times bigger that I was with Tyler, size wise we are right on track.

As far as weight gain at our last appointment we had gained a little over 30 lbs over the course of the pregnancy.  I expect that we will be slightly over the desired 25-15 lbs weight gain that is recommended, but I'm pretty comfortable with that.  Once we have recovered from delivery, I will be tracking my weight loss progress here on the blog as I get back to my pre-pregnancy shape.  I plan to include everything from diet to exercise as I work off the baby weight.

If you are following on Facebook or Instagram, you know that this past weekend was our maternity photo shoot with my super talented sister in law, Katie.  Not only does she take fabulous photos, but she is great with kids, even when they are being recalcitrant...

Here are just a handful of the amazing pictures:

You would never know that Tyler was refusing to take pictures, hiding his face, and just wanted to run around.  Katie was so kind and patient and worked both with and around him to get some pretty amazing shots.  Definitely go check out more of her work at Katie Joy Photography.

On a separate note, the more I look at my maternity pictures, the more I think it looks like I just put a basketball under my dress...  I guess that's a good thing; only one area to work on post baby.  Everyone keeps telling me I don't look pregnant from behind.  I guess that's why.

What I'm Missing

For this second part of the post I decided to create a list of  the things I can't wait for when Hailey is born.  I finally feel comfortable allowing myself to dream about these things since delivery day is coming soon.  Meeting and loving on Hailey is a given, so I have not included that on my list.  Here is everything else that I can't wait to do/have.

  1. Wine: I'm not even a huge drinker, but every once in a while a nice glass of wine can really save the day.  It has been a long while since I got to enjoy that.
  2. Lying on my front: As a front sleeper, I really miss this one.  I hate the pressure that side sleeping puts on my hips.  I can't wait to be able to knock out lying on my belly.
  3. Sushi: I truly miss this part of my diet.  Sushi is my favorite way to consume fish.  It's also one of my favorite meals to order in.  I can't wait til that's back on the menu.
  4. A good deli sandwich: I grew up in the Bronx, NY.  I know what a good Italian deli sandwich tastes like.  I miss it more than I care to admit.
  5. Comfortably having Tyler sit on my lap: Tyler regularly wants to sit on my lap, but with this basketball sized belly it has become increasingly difficult.  It now involves a lot of sliding and squirming to reach a comfortable position.  I can't wait til that is no longer an issue.
  6. Comfortably sitting in general: We are getting to the point where sitting means discomfort no matter how you sit.  You have to stand up to feel like you have room to breathe.  I'm over that.

Other than that, I have really enjoyed my pregnancy.  I haven't really had any issues.  Little to no swelling, little to no heartburn, and minimal aches and pains.  Actually, the biggest pain is rolling from side to side in bed.  I get a pain in my pelvis that is pretty awakening, making it more difficult to get back to sleep.  Other than that, I have been very fortunate.  This coming Sunday is our baby shower/my birthday party.  I turn 31 on Monday the 11th.  I can't wait to celebrate with friends and family.

This Friday's post will include some really useful time management tips for Spring cleaning.

See you then



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