Does it seem like you’re ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

After my son, Declan, was born, I started doing more and more work from my iPhone. It’s easier than pulling out my laptop, especially since Declan’s eyes light up as he crawls across the room attempting to climb all over the computer. Needless to say, it’s a disaster.

While utilizing my phone more helps me get work done while keeping an eye on Declan playing, it has also got me much more aware of how much time I spend throughout the day on my phone (and on social media).

Now as someone who makes her living hoping people spends lots of time online (especially on my blog and social media channels) I have to admit, I’m torn as one of MY goals is to stop spending so much time on my phone and social media.

Yes, I like to surf the internet reading random gossip magazines about celebrities and check social media to see what my friends across the country are up to. But at the same time, I can get sucked in and minutes turn in to … well WAY too long on my phone.

As our lives all get busier, time becomes more valuable. A couple “minutes” on Facebook turns much longer and also prevents me from tackling more productive tasks on my phone, such as emailing a friend, look up flight prices for an upcoming trip or listening to a podcast.

So given all this, I want to share just a couple things that I’m working on to keep phone usage productive.

[Psst! Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with my latest posts and ideas]

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

DELETE

To start off with the obvious: I delete some social media sites off my phone. Facebook specifically. This prevents me from just jumping on just a couple minutes ‘here and there’ throughout the day. If I really want to go on Facebook, I have just a couple opportunities when Declan is sleeping (which I always prioritize for doing actual work).

BOOKS

Recently I started getting ebooks from the Seattle library to download on my phone. I’ve gotten in too much of a habit of grabbing my phone to check social media for a couple minutes here and there. Now instead I pick up where I left off on an ebook. Reading books on my phone before I go to bed helps me fall asleep more than browsing social media. #justbeinghonest

EMAIL

I only check my email 3 times a day max. Now I realize not everyone can do this. Some of us are on email all day at work or need to check often on the weekend. I get that. When I’m working with sponsors for this blog, I’m often checking my phone hourly.

But here’s my rule. I ONLY check my phone when I’m in a position to ANSWER those emails. For example, I’m waiting in line at the grocery store and only have about 5 seconds before I need to start unloading groceries. That’s not enough time to respond to an email, so why even check?

Does it seem like you're ALWAYS on your phone? Constantly checking social media? Wonering where the time goes? Take a look at these tips and tricks to spend LESS time on your phone! 

TO DO LIST

I have a to do list app on my phone (appropriately named Todoist) which I sort tasks based on where I can complete the task (home, out, phone, computer, etc). This is really helpful during the times where I have a couple extra minutes and have the urge to ‘play on my phone’. I’m able to easily check my to do list and actually get something productive accomplished.

FACEBOOK

Like many of us, I use Facebook for more than just scrolling down my feed to see what my friends are up to. (Insert Instagram or Twitter if that’s your vice) I’m in several Facebook ‘Groups’: local parenting groups, blogging groups and even a Doberman group. I bookmark each of these groups in a folder on my Chrome browser so that I can check them regularly without getting sucked in to scrolling through all my feed on Facebook.

TIMESPENT ON PHONE

Now if you ever needed a motivator to get off your phone, just take a look at how much time you’re spending on it. For me, this was the kick in the butt that I needed. If you have an iPhone simply go to Settings >>> Battery >> Click on the clock icon. This will show you the amount of time you spent on each of your apps and the % of overall time in the last 24 hours.

Now, I do give myself a break because as I mentioned earlier, I use my phone to WORK. So yes, sometimes being on Pinterest helps me pay my bills. But it’s still eye opening.

How much time are you spending on your phone each day?? TOO much! Here's easy tips and tricks to spend less time on your phone!

I hope these tips are helpful, just a couple ways I’m trying to create a better balance for myself!




How much time are you spending on your phone each day?? TOO much! Here's easy tips and tricks to spend less time on your phone!

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Are pet supplies taking over your house? Take a look at these tips & tricks for ideas to keep your dog supplies organized! 

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

When we first brought home our little Doberman puppy, our focus was on how to take care of her and what supplies we needed, not how to organize all those pet supplies.

{Here’s our MUST HAVE Supplies, How We Prepared, and What We Wished We Would Have Known.}

But in no time at all, our home was cluttered with pet supplies in a not-so-organized fashion. I spent some time to develop a better system for us keep all her supplies, food and toys organized (and out of sight!). I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to maintain the system for over two years.

Instead of storing all Reagans supplies in one spot, we store them in the location in which they’ll be used (think: dog food near the dog bowls, shampoo near the tub). This is somewhat of a general rule for all supplies for our home, but is especially true for dog supplies.

Medications and treats

Reagan has a lot of allergies so she’s on daily oral medication and does not eat many treats. I keep both her medication and ‘approved’ treats in our kitchen as I typically give her medication snuck inside a bit of peanut butter (which she’s NO allergic to!).

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Feeding

We strategically placed Reagan’s bowls close to the closet where we store her food. This tall and narrow storage container is perfect for the closet. Plus, it has removable wheels! For easy access, we also keep the food scoop and fish oil (which we give her once a day with a meal) in her food container.

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Grooming 

Reagan gets her baths in our guest bathroom, so her supplies get their own cabinet.

Her bath supplies are pretty limited: shampoo, conditioner (yes, our dog gets conditioner 🙂 ) and two towels. We designated two old beach towels as ‘dog towels’ to dry her off after her bath.

Since we brush Reagan outside, her brush isn’t stored in the bathroom (keep reading below).

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Bones & Toys

Just like babies’ toys, dog toys can end up all over the floor. The easiest solution for us was leaving a basket close to ground level for all Reagans toys. This way she can grab and play with them as she likes and it’s easy for me to pick them up at the end of the day.

I placed a basket under our side table for all the toys. It’s both close to the ground and mostly out of sight: a perfect combination!

Now if I could just teach Reagan to put them away on her own 😀.

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Leash & Rain Jacket

Storing the leash and rain jacket (a requirement in Seattle!) in the coat closet off the main entry made the most sense. It’s easy to grab Reagan’s leash and my coat from the same closet before we go outside.

During the rainy months, we also keep our DIY dog mitt hung up.

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

Outdoor toys

Last year Joe helped turn two planters in to storage benches for our front porch area. One of these is dedicated to Reagan’s outdoor toys (balls, frisbees, ball thrower, etc.) and poop bags. I really love keeping outdoor toys outside to prevent more dirt from getting in to the house, as her toys can get rather dirty from outside play.

I also store Reagan’s brush in the storage bench, as we always brush her outside!

Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!

I hope these tips help keep your home a little bit more organized with your furry bundle of joy!

Here’s some of my favorite pet supplies:


Keep your house squeeky clean with this guide to organize pet supplies throughout the home. Smart solutions and tips to keep dog supplies organized!




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Trying to drink more water? Me too! These flavored ice cubes are the easiest way to jazz up my water and encourage me to drink more! 

try these delicious fruit and herb flavored ice cubes! perfect for a warm summer day! #flavoredicecubes A couple weeks ago I posted a project on how I make whole lemon ice cubes in attempt to drink more water. Apparently, I’m not the only one trying to kick the coffee habit. I was so surprised how popular this post was, especially considering I wasn’t planning on blogging about it (lemons and organization don’t exactly go hand in hand).

I’m loving my lemon ice cubes, but I’m also always up for ANY additional flavor that I can add to my daily 8 glasses of water. So, I’ve been experimenting with some other ice cube options.

There’s two ways to make flavored ice cubes: purée or ‘stuffed’:

To encourage me to drink more water, I stock up on these flavored ice cubes! #flavoredicecubes

Puréed fruit flavored ice cubes

If you’re looking for more of a flavor punch, purées are the way to go. I simply add my flavors in to a high-speed blender with a little water until I get a smooth consistency. Then pour the liquid in to the ice cube trays to freeze.

‘Stuffed’ fruit flavored ice cubes

This method is simply placing the fruit and/or herbs into the ice cube tray and fill up with water. In order to get a stronger flavor, I like to stuff the cubes with as much fruit and herbs as I can before filling the rest with water.

The whole point of these ice cubes is to give your water some flavor, pack in the fruit!

Tools

  • High speed blender (I like to use our Magic Bullet)
  • I’m a big fan of these silicone ice cube trays as they’re small enough to fit in the very few open spaces of my packed-to-the-brim freezer. Plus, it’s super easy to pop a cube out.
  • Cutting board
  • Knife

Making flavored ice cubes is an easy way to encourage you to drink more water!

Flavor combinations

There’s really endless possibilities of flavored ice cube combinations. I’d say that it’s really based on personal preference, so here’s my favorites:

  • Strawberry basil purée
  • Very berry stuffed
  • Stuffed cucumber mint
  • Mango purée & orange slices

Flavored ice cubes make the most delicious water! drink up! #flavoredicecubes


 

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Fruit and herbs are the perfect incredients for flavored ice cubes! This is the easiest way to drink more water each day wtih delicious ice cubes! #flavoredicecubes

Cheers to drinking more water and maybe a little less coffee!

 




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Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

This post was sponsored by Philips Avent as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

When I was pregnant, I had all the questions that a new mom does: diapers, feeding, sleeping, everything. Honestly, I had barely held a baby prior to Declan. Looking back at the first month with Declan, one of the first things we mastered was bottle-feeding

Declan started bottle-feeding at a pretty early age (read: 2 ½ weeks), so we jumped right in to it. After some trial and error, we found little tricks and tips that made a huge difference in making bottle-feeding pretty easy and really efficient.

One of the questions I get from friends is how much work it really is to keep up with the cleaning, organizing and storing of the bottles. Um, hello have we met? While I barely knew how to change a diaper, let’s just say I rocked the bottle.

Joking aside, I spent a little time this past week thinking about what’s made our bottle-feeding process so easy. It really boiled down to these areas:

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Use high quality bottles

First things, first. Use high quality bottles. Friends told me stories about needing to test out multiple bottles before finding one their kiddos like.

Fortunately, we never experienced that. Maybe because Declan went straight to the bottle so quickly. Maybe, because we bought the right one from the beginning. Who knows? We’ve been using Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent.

In these bottles, the nipple stays full of milk, not air, during feeding even when bottle is horizontal, so baby can drink from an upright position. While I didn’t totally appreciate this feature when picking out bottles while I was pregnant, I came to be super thankful for it when feeding Declan. It’s designed to help baby swallow less air which means baby is calm and comfortable during and after feedings (basically a win-win for everyone).

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Own enough bottles for an entire day

As a newborn, Declan was feeding about 8 times a day. You all know I’m more of a ‘less is more’ kind of gal, but I found having enough bottles to feed the kiddo for an entire day without having to clean them was worth it. From the time Declan was born we had 9 Philips Avent bottles. Which leads me to the next tip…

Get efficient with cleaning

One of the first challenges that crossed my mind about bottle-feeding was …. well ALL the bottles that we had to deal with. Our bottles went straight to the dishwasher. You can use a little basket to put the parts in, but we found that allocating one utensil holder got the parts clean.

With the Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle, the AirFree vent is one piece making it really easy to clean. This may not seem like a huge deal, but when cleaning 9 bottles a day, you’ll be happy to have fewer pieces! 

We typically run our dishwasher every day, so cleaning bottles was simply incorporated in to our daily routine.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Prep bottles each morning

One of the BEST tips I received from a fellow mom was to make a days’ worth of bottles each morning. Then when it’s feeding time, I simply grabbed a bottle from the fridge. I found this to be SO much easier than mixing formula with a crying baby in hand. It didn’t dawn on me to do this until several of my mom friends mentioned it. #mindblown

Tracking

Since Declan was bottle-fed, Joe and my parents could also help with feedings (#amazing); but that meant there needed to be coordination of who was feeding when. Fortunately, there are so many apps that make tracking feedings so easy (we used BabyConnect).

Whatever app you choose to use, make sure it allows for multiple people to connect to the same account. That way, everyone (partners, babysitters, grandparents, etc) can enter feedings directly to the app.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Diaper bag

Getting out of the house often was pretty important to me, especially since we had Declan in the spring and Seattle weather during that time is pretty amazing (winter on the other hand = rain). Looking back, I never really worried about forgetting a bottle when we left the house, as we always had a well-stocked diaper bag.

I included an extra bottle, formula and a small unopened bottled water. Yet the reality was when a baby is a newborn, you NEVER forget about feeding. No matter how you feed your baby, it’s always on your mind before you leave the house.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

Storage

You all know how I feel about clear counters (#lovethem) so having baby bottles sitting out all over our counters wasn’t going to happen in our house. We dedicated ONE small area of our kitchen counter for bottles.

Read: ONE.

We used a small drying rack that was place on the counter closest to the dishwasher. In my ideal world bottles would be placed in a cabinet out of sight, but realistically it was much easier to have these at arm’s reach on the drying rack (especially during the first few months when Declan was drinking up to 8-9 bottles a day).

 Now that we got in such a rhythm that I’m now dreading transitioning to a sippy cup.

Bottle-feeding can make life SO much easier with your new little baby! Here's the tips and tricks we learned along the way!

 





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Keeping your work bag organized keeps your work TIME more organized as well. It’s a win-win in my book!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

While I work from home the majority of the time, several days a week I’m stationed at a coffee shop pounding away on my laptop. During the days I’m not at home, I try my best to utilize my time well. I’m much more efficient without tempting distractions (aka dishes that need to be done), so I value this work time! A big part of the success of my coffee shop work time is coming prepared with everything I need in my work bag to be as efficient as possible.

Here’s what I pack in my work bag

I’ve always been a big fan of pouches. You’ll find them in my suitcase, purse and work bag. In my work bag, I always keep at least two pouches.

Electronics Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven

  1. Computer Charger | Since I have an older laptop with a dying battery, I always keep my computer charger nearby!
  2. External Hard Drive | Every week, I backup the documents on my computer to my external hard drive. I get nervous that my computer could crash and I would forever lose all my documents! Ahh!
  3. Phone Charger Cord | I like to have several of these on hand in our home as I’m notorious for my phone dying.
  4. Portable Charger | When there’s no outlet to plug my phone in to, this portable charger has been my lifesaver!
  5. Headphones | I get distracted easily, so popping in my headphones and listening to music while I work is really helpful.
  6. Portable Flash Drive | I always keep at least one of these in my bag to easily backup my work.
  7. Clips to secure the cords | I like to keep all my cords under control! Having clips to keep them from tangling keeps me sane 🙂

For my smaller, thinner cords, I love these cord clips:

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Sometimes the best solution is found around the house: thick rubber bands often do the trick!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Blog Supplies Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

One | Two | Three | Four | Five

 

  1. Business Card Holder | I not only keep my business cards, but also business contacts I’ve met through conferences and work trips.
  2. Mini Sticky Notes | Always in bright colors!
  3. Receipt Holder | I keep all my receipts in pouches so that I’m able to process my taxes easily. I’m in the process of writing a post detailing how I handle all my blog finances!
  4. Note Pad | I typically take notes digitally, but I ldo ike to keep a pad of paper nearby.
  5. Pens & Highlighters | My pens go missing all the time, so I like to carry several!

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

If I don’t also have my purse with me, I’ll pack my wallet, sunglasses and a

Toiletry Pouch

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

I like to keep mini versions of toiletry items that I use regularly. This includes items such as a small brush, lotion, chapstick, breath mints, nail file, mascara and a nail file.

Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

My laptop is by far the heaviest item in my bag. It’s an older cheaper laptop which automatically means it weighs more than any out on the market today. Because of this, I like to use a sturdy work bag. If you’re willing to spend the money, I’m a huge fan of Lo and Sons bags, but I’ve found a canvas LL Bean bag also checks all my requirements!

Lastly, I bring a couple folders. The first is my ‘business folder’ which is part of my system to track of net earnings (more on this in a future post). The second is a ‘notes’ folder that includes anything written down from conferences and work trips (I’m a huge note taker).

Love these tips? Pin it for Later! Keep your work bag organized, while storing all the essentials that you need throughout the day. Here's what we keep in our bag for the long work days!

Now I just need to grab a coffee and get to work 🙂 .

 


 

 





 

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