This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FormulaForHappiness #GerberTarget #CollectiveBias

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

Expecting a baby??? Then you know there’s a LOT of preparation needed! You’ve likely gotten all the fun stuff done (picking out adorable baby clothes, having your showers). You’d done all the practical tasks (putting together the crib, installing the car seat). Now here’s some things you might not have thought of yet.

I reached out to my most organized mommy friends to get their most surprising tips on what to-do before you’re DUE!

1 If you’ll be bottle feeding (or find out that you’re unable to breastfeed), make sure you stock up! Gerber® Good Start® Gentle Stage 1 Infant Formula is made for baby tummies (from birth to 12 months old) and is modeled after the gentleness and nutrition of breastmilk. More and more moms are looking for foods with non-GMO ingredients and Gerber® listened! Their Gerber® Good Start®
Formulas are all made with non-GMO sources. Plus a well fed baby is a comfortable baby, and that means everyone is happy, including mom 🙂 . Gerber sent me some samples to have on hand, but you can stock up at your local Target! Here is a CARTWHEEL offer you can use from 9/4 – 9/17.

2 Prep lots and lots of frozen meals. Dedicate a day to make lots & lots of meals. Even if you’re not a huge fan of frozen food, you’llappreciate having ready made meals available. My sister would bring over frozen breakfast sandwiches to all her new mommy friends. Mom and dad can now have a nice hot breakfast EASILY!

3 A clean car is appreciated any day of the week, but you’ll REALLY appreciate having your car cleaned out BEFORE you little baby arrives. Instead of cringing every time you put your baby in a car seat of a clean car, you can be patting yourself on your back that you planned ahead and finally cleaned out the car!

4 You’ve probably stocked up on more diapers than you could have imagined, but what about all the non-baby items you need around thehouse? It’s a great time to stock up on as many of those day to day non-perishable supplies as you have room for. Think toilet paper, detergent, dog food, cleaning supplies. The last thing you want to be doing is making trips to the grocery store for ONE item.

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

5 Some of you may have already begun to think about what you want your baby announcements to look like. You’re one step ahead! But what about making a list of WHO to send those announcements to? And extra points if you start collecting home addresses now! Remember how annoying it was to collect these for wedding invitations? You definitely don’t want to be hunting down addresses in between baby feedings!

6 While you’re deciding what to pack in your hospital bag, make sure to think about any arrangements that you’ll need at your home while you’re at the hospital. Do you have a dog a home that will need to be taken care of? Other kiddos? It’s wise to have a couple of friends / sitters available since you’re likely not going to know EXACTLY when you’re going to need them!

7 Are there any upcoming birthdays that you’ll need to shop for? Will Christmas be approaching shortly after your due date? Buying AND wrapping those gifts NOW will take a lot of pressure & stress off of shopping with your new little one. (Do you notice the theme of not wanting to shop with a little one?) 

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

8 Decide if/how you want to document your baby’s growth. It’s always fun to see the pictures of babies each month as they’re getting bigger & bigger! Taking time to decide where and how you want those pictures to look is not only fun pre-baby project, but you’ll have more time to come up with creative ideas!

9 Pre-register at the hospital. No one likes paperwork, especially when you’re about to go into labor. Most hospitals allow you to pre-register all your medical information & insurance paperwork. Then when it’s time to go, you’ll only need to fill out a couple forms to get checked in. Call your hospital or ask your doctor what their process is!

10 Make sure you have comfortable clothing for after the baby is born. This might not seem too fun because when you’re pregnant, nothing seems comfortable, but you’ll be thanking yourself after the baby is born! The rule of thumb is clothing that fit you at 6 months pregnant will be your best bet immediately post delivery.

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

What’s your best ‘to do before you’re due’ tip?

 

 

 

I would have NEVER thought to do #4 before I was due! Good list of things to do before I have my baby.

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This post was sponsored by Chime as part of an Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

We all know that we SHOULD get our finances organized, but the longer we wait the harder the task is. It always SEEMS  like the perfect New Years resolution. Yet the average New Years resolution lasts only 11 days. What about when the school year ends and life slows down a bit? That will be the best time to organize our finances. Or maybe when school starts back up and there’s more free time. Oh I’ll tackle it over Thanksgiving Break when I have an extra day off. No, I’ll add it to my New Years resolution list ….

Sound familar?

It’s incredible how easy and justifiable it all sounds to delay delay delay! Instead of making organizing your finances a HUGE task ….

here’s our 6 SIMPLE steps to organize your finances

1 Stop Trying to do it ALL

Many of us, like me, weren’t blessed with perfect memory. I have to write EVERYTHING down …. like remembering to move money in to my savings account each month. Or remembering to deposit checks. Even if you’ve got a great system to remember it all, leave it to someone (or something) else that can remember it better.

Solution? Automate your checking & savings account. When you bank with Chime & enroll in Automatic Savings, every time you use your Chime card to make a purchase (or pay a bill), they’ll round the transaction amount to the nearest dollar & transfer that money from your spending to savings account!

If you set up direct deposit with your employer in to your Chime account you can get paid up to two days early.

2 Goodbye Budget

There’s very few of us that REALLY love making a budget, right? Or let me rephrase this for those budget lovers out there …. there’s very few of us who love STICKING to a budget, right? Especially when the budget is complex. Many categories for every type of expense. Personally my spending habits change each month  based on what’s going on in my life. For example in December I’m spending more on presents, while in the summer I’m spending more on vacations. Since I don’t account for spending changes month to month, what seems advantageous when creating this monster of a budget, often derails quickly.

So instead of having a ridiculously detailed budget, determine how much take home money you have. Subtract the amount you need for essentials and savings each month. Then you’ll know how much discretionary money you have to spend as you want!

3 Go on a date …..

with yourself!

Hear me out. Whether it’s monthly or quarterly, schedule time (even just 30 minutes) to sit down by yourself to review your finances. Take a look at your checking account balance & savings account balance. Then check your credit score and take a look at your credit card statement. Try to find any unnecessary subscriptions or expenses to cut down.

Regardless if you choose to meet monthly or quarterly, make sure it’s consistent. These don’t have to be daunting deep dives on your finances (although they CAN be). As long as you’re consistent with the meetings and reviewing the essential, you’re on the right track!

4 Take the Trash Out

Holding on to financial documents can be a good piece of mind, but only if you truly know where everything is. Having boxes and folders filled with paperwork on your financials isn’t necessarily doing you any favors. Instead of having loads of paper documents, scan the documents and save them on a secure electronic file. This will remove all that physical clutter. This may not be the funnest task, but you’ll definitely be happy once it’s done. I’d also recommend signing up for all electronic statements of your account. Chime offers completely paperless options for your monthly statements.

 

5 Slim Down Your Wallet

As a huge lover of good deals, I’m always TEMPTED by credit card offers that sound too good to be true. And you know the saying, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Plus keeping track of the requirements for all those supposedly high reward credit cards can be more challenging than it’s worth. Because remember, if you don’t hit the requirements, you don’t get the rewards!

I stick with one credit card and one debit card that I use regularly.  I have a Chime debit card that I can even track via an iphone app.

6 Keep Your Identity

Identity theft is a serious thing. And it’s scary. Start checking your credit score regularly (I like to check mine twice a year). And make sure your passwords to all financial accounts are complex, random and never the same as any other passwords. When you bank with Chime, you’ll receive a Chime Visa® Debit Card, and an DIC insured Spending Account and Savings Account that can be managed straight through your smart phone. One of the great features of this is that you can be notified via app every time there’s a transaction on your account, so you always know what’s going on! 

And that’s it! Organizing your finances don’t have to be painful as long as you get started!

 

 

 

 

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Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

As adorable and energetic as Reagan is, recently she seemed to have a ton of health problems. While some we accounted to Reagan growing out of her puppy stage, others we knew we needed to address.

For one … dandruff. Yes, it may seem like a vanity thing (and maybe it is). But who wants a dog with dandruff?

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Then comes the acne. Alright it’s another vanity thing. But dogs with acne? I had never heard of such a thing before we got Reagan. The photo below is from one one of our most popular posts about a DIY toy storage solution. Can you see that acne on her face?

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Oh and then there’s the diarrhea like poop and farting. Lots of farting. No pictures necessary.

All of this was going on for months. And it was driving us crazy. We weren’t sure to what extent all of this was just what happens with dogs and what was serious. But we knew Reagan didn’t seem too happy and we wanted her to look AND feel healthier!  Her energy and playfulness are some of our favorite qualities and we wanted to make sure she was able to enjoy the summer playing outside.

So we decided to take the IAMS™ Challenge. IAMS™ is so confident that you’ll see a Visible Difference in your dog that they’re offering a money back guarantee. Our vet had also recommended transitioning Reagan’s dog food, so it was a no brainer!

Here’s what we did during our IAMS™ Challenge

1 Keep Hydrated

Does this sound familar? Ironically it’s a common beauty tip for humas as well. Well Reagan (just like me) doesn’t always love to drink a lot of water. We were constantly worried that she was dehydrated. Ugh. So we tried to make drinking water as fun as we could. I freezed a couple pieces of dog food in each ice cube tray mold. Once frozen, Reagan couldn’t get enough of them. To my surprise she seemed to think it was the greatest treat EVER. We would give her a couple of these at a time, typically several times a day.

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

The ONLY problem we ran in to is that every time I opened the freezer, she assumed we were getting her treat 🙂 .

Use these tips to get rid if Rusty's acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

2 Change The Food

For the IAMS™ Challenge, we opted for IAMS™ Grain Free Naturals Dry Food with Salmon & Red Lentils. Joe laughed stating that Reagan is probably having better meals than we are. Embarrassing I admitted he was right (#awfulcook).

It was the perfect choice for Reagan. Their dog food includes Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids that keeps Reagan’s skin & coat look healthy (goodbye acne and dandruff). In addition IAMS™ includes a fiber blend in their dog food. Just like humans need fiber, this helped Reagan with all her digestive & tummy problems.

Remember IAMS™ is so confident that you’ll see a Visible Difference in your dog that they’re offering a money back guarantee. For more info on all the IAMS™ products and to get the full scoop on their Visible Difference Guarantee, visit iams.com/visabledifference.

We took 7 days to transition Reagan to her new food. Any quicker might have caused MORE tummy problems, which is the last thing we wanted. We started by mixing 75% of the old food with 25% of the new IAMS™ diet. Then on days 3 & 4, we mixed 50/50 of old diet and new. By day 5 & 6, the mix was 75% of the new IAMS™ with 25% of the old diet. On day 7, Reagan was ready to eat the new IAMS™ diet exclusively.

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Note that we monitored Reagan pretty closely. You’ll want to do the same with your dog and adjust the transition timing as needed.

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

3 Slow Down Eating

Apparently like mother like daughter. Reagan eats her food just as quickly as I do. I’m truly hoping I’m a little neater of an eater than her although Joe often disagrees 🙁 . While there’s tons of doggy gadgets to encourage your dog to eat at a slower pace, you’ve likely got the solution right at home already. Simple put a tennis ball in the middle of dish filled with food. This will force your dog to slow down as they eat AROUND the ball. It even makes meal time more mentally stimulating as they have to move the ball around the dish to get at the food.

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

The Results of the IAMS™ Challenge

At the end of the IAMS™ Challenge we saw a huge difference!  The dandruff was GONE and her coat was super shiny. The acne had literally disappeared. Her tummy seemed to be doing better as she had tons of energy! Scroll down look at some of our adventures with Reagan below. She had a lot more energy and was running around like crazy! Just like we knew she would.

Not only did it make Reagan feel better, but it was great for Joe & I as well. We could finally stop worrying about how Reagan was feeling! She was enjoying the summer and the outdoors iwth one of her favorite activities …. playing frisbee. AND she’s finally able to CATCH the frisbee!

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

The smartest tips to get rid of puppy acne, dandruff and tummy problems!

Take a look at these videos … Reagan is back to her ‘normal’ crazy self. We think she definitely succeeded in the IAMS™ Challenge!  Yet, apparently one thing she didn’t obtain is a sense of coordination. We’re still working on that 🙂 .

And then there’s Regan’s FAVORITE way to exercise outdoors ….

Come join the IAMS™ Challenge to get your dogs outside enjoying the summer!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

 

 

 

 

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As prepared as we were for Reagan, our doberman puppy, there were MANY things we learned along the way. Some things we’re laughing about now and for others the wound is too fresh. Ugh. Yes, we had our to-do lists prepared and purchased all the essentials, but we still learned quite a few lessons along the way. It took a little trial and error, lots of caffeine and quite a bit of humor, but we got through the first month with Reagan and are still alive to tell about it!

Oh how could this cute little face get in to any mischief ???

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

What we wish we would have known: New Puppy Checklist

Although Apple Spray, that spray that will prevent puppies from chewing on whatever your spray it on, should have been a blessing it was one of Reagan’s favorite treats! She would literally lick it off our furniture (and THEN chew the furniture). FAIL.

There’s SO many puppy products on the market nowadays. Some of them seem just down right silly. I tried the less is more approach at the beginning, but wish I would have bought a couple key items right away. One of those was a dog dish tray to prevent water from spilling all over. Our wood floors started to warp because Reagan thought the water bowl was for playing not drinking 🙂 .

Make sure everyone in your house is consistent with rules and puppy commands. I started going rouge and using the same commands/hand signals that I used with my childhood puppy without confirming with Joe. Sure enough he was using different hand signals.

Reagan wasn’t a fan of getting brushed, although she REALLY needed it! Anytime she saw the brush coming, she would jump up and start trying to play with it. I wish we would have started grooming her when she was sleeping instead of wide awake to get her used to it.

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

We never really did the math of how much dog food we would go through daily. It seemed like almost every week we would come close to running out of food before buying more! I highly recommend buying several bags of puppy food at a time!

I had NO idea how much energy playing at the dog park would burn! Once Reagan got all her shots (about 3 months), we started taking her to the dog park almost daily and she became a different dog! Running around at a dog park for an hour burned WAY more energy than taking her on 3 or 4 long walks.

Say goodbye to full night sleeps for the first month! If you’re sharing puppy responsibilities with someone else, make sure you come up with a plan of WHO is going to be on nighttime duty each night. It took Joe & I a week or so to get in to the groove of this. Before that we would BOTH wake up in the middle of the night to take Reagan out to go to the bathroom. What were we thinking?

We bought doggy carpet cleaner that also eliminates the scent to prevent dogs from coming back to that same spot. Well, it neither prevented Reagan from peeing in the same spot and or got rid of the stain. We ended up switching back to regular carpet cleaner.

Skip the nice bed and opt for old towels. It may not be as luxurious or comfy as a puppy bed, but you also won’t be wasting money on something that your dog may use as an expensive chew toy! Admittedly Reagan chewed up TWO beds before we switched to the towels.

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

Research what the diameter of your puppies neck should be BEFORE buying a collar. I just bought a medium size collar for Reagan, but when we first got her it was WAY too big. That meant we had NO collar for her and had to run to the store within the first hour after bringing her home.

We put off brushing Reagan’s teeth because …. well it seemed like a miserable process. I wish we would have started the very first week we brought her home so that she was used to it. Now every time we brush her teeth its a huge production because she has no idea what’s going on!

After weeks of sleepless nights for both Reagan, Joe & I, we got a great tips from my sister. Fill plastic water bottles with hot water and cover with socks. Then place these in her crate next to her when going to bed. It supposedly mimics the feeling of sleeping next to her brothers and sisters. This was LIFE CHANGING for us. Hello sleeping through the night!

Good luck with your new puppy! Any tips you learned along the way?

 

 

 

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This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl as part of an Influencer Activation. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

You’ve got a huge presentation with boss, boss’s boss, boss’s boss’s boss and pretty much every important person you can think of. You over committed yourself socially and are literally running to back to back to back events. You’re expecting company and waited until the last minute to prepare. Any of these sound familiar?

We’ve all had those days that we just KNOW are going to be hectic before they even begin. I’ve spent my life trying to avoid these. All the to do lists, calendars and all obsessive organization haven’t prevented me from having THOSE days.

So instead of killing myself to try to avoid days like that, I do my best to manage through these days with these tops tips.

Keep Hydrated

OK well technically we should all keep well hydrated EVERY day. We’ve heard it over and over that the more you drink the better you’ll look and feel. It’s especially important on those crazy days. This always causes problems for me because I totally hate the taste of water.

Enter Skinnygirl Sparklers & Water Enhancers (at only 5 calories per serving). Flavors like Pineapple Coconut, White Cherry, Tangerine Pink Grapefruit and Blueberry Acai sound WAY better than plain water 🙂 .

Whether I grab a Sparkler from the fridge or mix a couple squirts of the Water Enhancer into my water bottle before leaving the house in the morning, I’ve finally got water that I’ll ENJOY drinking.

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

Be Comfortable

I’m a lover of gorgeous uncomfortable shoes just as much as the next gal. But let’s face it, the last thing you need to deal with when you’re half way through that crazy day of yours are blisters or sore feet. Save the fancy 5 inch high heels for a night out on the town and stick with comfortable flats on your busiest days.

Bring Backup

Any time I wear tights I’m constantly in fear that they’re going to rip. Constantly. It’s completely irrational but I’m stressed the entire time I have them on. The practical side of me says just don’t wear tights. But the wanna be trendy side of me says to suck it up. So I ALWAYS bring back up. Same goes for a second shirt any time I wear white. (hello stains). Finally have peace of mind 🙂 .

Snacks

An empty stomach on a busy day = disaster. Don’t rely on a vending machine to magically appear when you need it. Pack healthy, yet indulging snacks (yes those DO exist). These Skinnygirl Chocolates only have 100 calories per pack and are made with real Belgian chocolate. A perfect portion controlled snack!

Charge it! 

Why oh why does my phone battery die so quickly? Joe would say it’s because I’m ON my phone too much, but I totally disagree. The mystery I’ll never understand. When I’m going to be gone for a long period of time, I always bring an extra portable phone charger. There’s so many options now a days. They’re cheap, lightweight and are complete life savers if you can’t get to an outlet.

Prepare Prepare Prepare

One of the things that drive me crazy more than anything is spending a day full of running errands only to forget a couple things that I needed to pick up. Yes, I’m sure there’s more annoying things in life. But the reason it bothers me so much is if I had spent a little bit more time planning out my day, I would have saved a TON of time having to make a second trip.

So the night before any busy day, I spend a couple minutes planning out my day. Whether that is figuring out the most efficient routes to run my errands or prepping for a day full of back to back meetings, I’m always more productive with a planned out day.

Caffeinate

Keep your energy up during your most sluggish time of day with a little caffeine pick me up. You know that 2pm slump??? I love these individual Skinnygirl Tea flavors AND names … Peach Bellini, Mojito Mint, Cranberry Cosmo, and Sangria Hibiscus. Throw a couple in your purse and make a glass when you need it most! It’s the next best thing to a 5 o’clock cocktail 🙂 .

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

Use Time in Between

No matter how busy your day is, you probably have a couple minutes here and there where you’ve got a couple extra minutes of time. Some of us enjoy just taking those opportunities to relax. For those of us who hate relaxing (Hi! Have we met??), those pockets of time are great opportunities to get a little bit done. Whether it’s reviewing my grocery list to ensure I didn’t forget anything, scheduling that doctor’s appointment or running through my power point one more time before my presentation.

Early to Rise

I know I know … not all of us are morning people. I hear ya. But the LAST thing you want is to be rushing in the morning before your busy day. Mornings set the tone for your whole day. Give yourself some extra time in the morning for any last minute things. Skipping out on 15 minutes of sleep won’t make you tired all day, but it will give you enough time to ensure you’re walking out the door with everything you need!

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

Find your favorite Skinnygirl products near you!

How do you manage through your busiest days? Leave us a note to give us your best tip!

 

 

 

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Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Elastic hair ties are one of my new favorite things. As a girl who wears her hair in a pony tail about 99% of the time (I blame working from home 🙂 ), I not only love them for my daily pony tail look. I also love them for the rare occasion that I wear my hair down. Why? Elastic hair ties are create an awesome crease-FREE look. No more straighteners needed!

While I do love these magical hair ties, I hate forking over big bucks for something SO simple. Fortunately they’re just as easy (and quick) to make as they look!

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Supplies

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Instructions

The first step is to cut the elastic to your desired length. Don’t worry about a perfect cut on the elastic as we’re going to cut it one more time before it’s done. I measure mine to 8 inches. This allows me to do three wraps around my pony tail staying tight in my hair.

Fold the elastic in half with the shinier side face out.

Tie a knot using the two ends of the fabric. Then work and pull the knot towards the ends from the inside of the hair tie (not the ends). Pull tight to ensure the knot is secure.

If the ends are too long for your liking, snip with a scissor. You can cut on an angle, straight or even give it bow ends. Totally your preference!

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

So simple and affordable! It’s a perfect project for the DIY rookie to the seasoned pro. With lots of fabric left over, I’m able to stock up on hair ties and put a couple in my purse, work bag & suitcase. I’m yet to see a hair tie that I didn’t want to use.

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Wishing that all expensive beauty supplies could be this EASY to make!

 

 

 

 

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I’m always jealous of those who can finish their to do lists before I even have my first cup of coffee. You know the person I’m talking about. The gal that’s already worked out before you meet her for brunch on a weekend. The person who’s doing their grocery shopping on Saturday morning instead of Sunday night like the rest of us.  Whether ensuring your have a healthy breakfast on the go or speeding up your morning beauty routine, here’s our top tips for your most productive morning EVER!

Look Your Best

Set yourself up for morning success by spending a couple minutes in the evening doing some prep, the first being your outfit. To avoid roaming through your closet wasting time looking for that perfect outfit each morning, make these adorable outfit labels to coordinate your best outfit for each day of the week!  Each evening I then hang tomorrow’s outfit on the back of my bathroom door so I have NO temptation to rummage through the closet spending unnecessary time “re-looking” at all my outfits.

Prepping Lunch

Whether you’re trying to get out the door quickly in the morning or just trying to get to work at home (anyone else work from home?), by prepping your lunch the night before you’ll have one less thing to worry about during a busy morning. I don’t know about you, but every time I try to throw together lunch during a busy morning, I’m totally disappointed with what I packed come lunch time!

Post It!

I’m definitely a digital organizer so to speak. My phone comes with me everywhere. Yet, for mornings, I’m all about the post it notes. If there’s anything important that I need to do or remember to do or bring with me in the morning, it goes on the post it note. “Take casserole from fridge”, “mail package”, “water plants”, etc.

Coffee in No Time!

I’ll admit it, I NEED coffee to get me going in the morning and a lot of it. So I prep my coffee machine the night before so the coffee will be flowing right when I wake up in the morning. Nothing gets me moving and productive in the morning like a large cup (or pot 🙂 ) of coffee!

What’s at your door?

EVERYTHING I don’t want to forget the next morning! I’m notorious for walking out the door without that ONE item I needed to take with me. Happens. Every. Time. It took me long enough to learn my lesson, but now I put everything important that needs to come with me right next to our front door.

Skip the Snooze

If you’re going to wake up early, you might as well GET UP. Studies show that “snoozing sleep” really isn’t good sleep, so you might as well set your alarm for later if you know you want the extra zzzs. In the time that you’re snoozing you could have gotten a couple things tackled from your to-do list!

Goodbye Facebook

Did you know the average person checks their email before brushing their teeth in the morning? Whether it’s email or Facebook, save it for another time. If you’re going to skip the snooze button don’t let it be to spend your time scrolling through your friends (or random acquaintances) photo stream.

Fuel Up 

We all know that skipping breakfast is a bad idea. NO one is productive on an empty stomach, so eat up! The coffee lover in me LOVES when my food has coffee in it too. SnackWell’s Biscuit Thins are the ONLY breakfast treats with real coffee and flavorings (Caramel Macchiato, French Vanilla, & Dark Chocolate Mocha). Even when I’m rushing out the door in the morning, I’m able to grab breakfast on the go! And with NO partially hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup and 40% less sugar than competitors, these are the smart choice!

Grab a coupon HERE and head over to your local Walmart to grab yours! 

I found mine at the Lynnwood, WA Walmart!

 That College Shower Caddy 

Keep your bathroom tidy AND speed up your morning beauty routine with one simple change: using a shower caddy to store all your morning beauty products (including face wash, toothpaste, makeup, and more!). You may have thought the shower caddy was only for the days in the dorms, but this simple item is the perfect way to streamline your routine in the morning. Prevent searching through every cabinet in your bathroom since EVERYTHING you need in the morning is in one place!

Water Water Everywhere

If I’m going to prep a pot of coffee the night before, I probably should prep some water as well, right? I keep at least two canisters of flavored water in my fridge so I always have something tasty to drink. PRO tip: Add a handful of sliced fruit to your canister, filling the rest with ice cubes. Then add the water. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to drink. The ice cubes will eventually melt, but they will help keep your fruit fresh longer.

May mornings be your favorite time of day (or at least the most PRODUCTIVE)!

 

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Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

When I was growing up my mom had at least one garage sale at our house per summer and frequented others garage sales all summer long. Throughout my adult life I’ve always lived in too urban of an environment to have a garage sale (read: I’ve never owned a GARAGE), so I thought my mom would be the best person to share her her tips on staying ORGANIZED when hosting a garage sale!

Ahead of Time

  • Pull out all the items you want to sell (no brainer right?). Just remember, you need a lot of items and some good large furniture pieces to draw people in. If you don’t have enough stuff on your own, get others to join you!
  • Test out all electrical items to ensure that they work before adding to the garage sale pile.
  • Put small pieces to any items in to a taped ziplock bag (such as game pieces, extra screws/nails, etc)
  • Gather all your supplies (see below for full list).
  • Price all your items and make sure EVERYTHING has a price sticker on it. Even inf you’re putting items in a bin with a sign denoting the price, I (well my mom) strongly recommends that you still put a price on individual items. It will save you a lot of time at checkout!
  • Decide if you will accept checks and/or 100 dollar bills. My mom chose not to accept either. She actually had a situation where someone gave her a bounced $10 check. The bank charged her $12 for trying to cash a bad check. She laughs that she had to pay $2 to get rid of the item. Hopefully it won’t happen to you!
  • If you decide to have limitations on what of money you’ll accept, make sure there’s signs clearly stating something along the lines of “No checks or bills over $20 accepted” so that there’s no confusion (or awkwardness at checkout)
  • Get plenty of change! $1s, $5s and quarters are what you’ll need the most of! My mom starts off with $50 in 1’s, $50 in 5’s and $10 in quarters. Regardless of how much you start with make sure to write down the amount! It sounds obvious, but I’ve forgotten and then had trouble reconciling our profits afterwards.
  • If you’re doing a garage sale with others, give everyone a different color price sticker to label THEIR items. That way any of you can handle checkout for any items. (See supply items below for a group checkout form)
  • A day before, move your car out of the driveway, preferably a block away from your house. The more parking you can make available for potential guests the better. I’ve skipped stopping at garage sales because parking looked like a nightmare.
  • Even though you won’t be selling your items for retail prices, you need to think of your garage & driveway as a retail shop. Clothes organized by type, size, and gender. Home items organized by room of house (kitchen, bath, etc). Big ticket items out in front at the edge of the driveway to lure your guests in. Keeping with the mentality of a retail shop makes setting up your garage sale surprisingly easy, which brings me to …..

Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

Set Up / Layout Tips

  • On a piece of paper, draw out your garage sale space (garage and driveway) and label where EVERYTHING will go. It can be overwhelming to try to figure out where to put all your items the night before the garage sale, so having a ‘floor plan’ will help immensely. For example, put all kitchen items on one table, CDs and movies on another table, etc. You’ll also know if you have enough tables for your items.
  • As you’re drawing out your floor plan, keep in mind that you want your place to be organized, but it also need to showcase that you have a LOT of items. Sparse garage sales typically get passed up by those driving by.
  • Put big items closer to the street as people come by in cars to look before they stop and get out.
  • To gauge how much space your items will take up on your card tables, place the items on your kitchen table to get an idea. Even if your kitchen table is no where close to the size of your card tables you’ll be using for your garage sale, you’ll be able to get a feel for the space.
  • Are you selling any NEW items that have never been used before? That’s the only exception to my layout guidelines. Put these items on a separate table with a HUGE sign staying “NEW”. My mom has always had great success putting this table closer the street.
  • Keep smaller more expensive items closer to your garage / in the back. Things such as video games, jewelry, CDs (really anything that has a higher price point) should be within eye shot of where you’ll be stationed. Never want to think that someone would steal, but better safe than sorry.
  • Checkout station. Keep this location somewhere easy for guests to get to, but also in the shade (you’ll thank me around 2pm). Putting a table cloth over your checkout table, not only helps make it more identifiable for guests, but also allows you to tuck items underneath and out of site (think: money)
  • Put clothes on tables sorted by size and gender with large signs taped to the table.
  • Bins and boxes are great for books, videos and any items you want to charge the same price for (remember to still label each item individually).

Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

Day Of

  • The night before the sale move the furniture you want into the garage if you haven’t already. Always put the heavier furniture near the garage door so that it’s easy to bring in and out.
  • Have an extension cord plugged in to an outlet to make it easier for customers to test out electronics themselves.
  • Play music. It gives you something to listen to throughout the day and the guests will enjoy it to!
  • Wear a fanny pack. I’m not sure if the trend is ever coming back (or if it was ever there to start with), but I LOVE any reason to wear a fanny pack. It’s super useful to have some money and pens stored inside. Then you can checkout someone at any spot. (photo of me)
  • Each hour do a scan of the area to see if anything needs to be reorganized or refolded. Remember a clean organized area will make it easier for guests to find what they want and purchase!
  • Throughout the day, do a check to ensure you’ve got enough small bills/change in your money box. If you’re running low have your spouse or co-host run to the bank.
  • If you have tarps available, keep them in the garage. It’s good to cover tables in case a fast downpour .

A couple safety tips from my mom (hopefully you’ll never had to run into these):

  • When someone gives me bills, I mention the amount they gave me and what I will give them back. I try to hold the bill they gave me in my hand until the transaction is done. One time a lady said to me “I only have a 20”. After a few minutes shopping she gave me a 10. I noticed it wasn’t what she said but didn’t say anything. She tried to tell me she gave me a 20. Finally when I kept saying no, she looked in her purse and found the 20.
  • Some people have kids that need to use our bathroom. I make sure no money is laying loose inside and that someone is helping take them inside. There’s been reports in our town of items getting stolen inside homes when people have to use the bathroom. This is another reason to NOT do the garage sale alone! 
  • Be aware of where your money box is. As you get a lot of money take some of the big bills and put in a safe spot in your house.

Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

Garage Sale Supplies

  • Calculator (I know we all live in a world where our phone is our calculator, but it definitely comes in handy during garage sale time)
  • Plastic or paper grocery bags to put in sold items
  • Newspaper (to wrap fragile items)
  • Garage Sale Revenue Tracker
  • Money box with change (see above for tips on how much money to have on hand)
  • Extension cords plugged in to an outlet (to allow people to test out any of your electronics)
  • Clipboards for each host (makes it SO much easier to write down the purchases especially if you’re not at your host table)
  • Lots of pens
  • A couple permanent markers
  • plastic for rain protection
  • Plastic sheets or blankets for anything going on the ground
  • Colored price stickers 
  • Extra paper (to make ‘sold’ signs on anything that gets accounted for but not picked up immediately)
  • Radio/speakers (for music)
  • Tape
  • Balloons/Signs
  • Snacks/Cooler
  • Measuring tape (in case any guests want to measure furniture before purchasing)
  • Folding tables
  • Lots of cheap metal hangers
  • Clothing rack

May you have the most organized AND profitable garage sale on the block!

 

 

 

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