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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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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These whole lemon ice cubes are an easy way to start the day off with a healthy drink! 

These whole lemon ice cubes are a perfect healthy start to the day!

It’s been a goal of mine to drink more water for YEARS. Along with eat healthier, get more sleep, exercise regularly. Yeah, you get it. Yep, all the standard ‘New Years Resolution’ goals.

But drinking more water shouldn’t be THAT hard, right?

Well, for me it has been. Maybe because I drink too much coffee. Maybe it’s because I really don’t love the taste of water. I mean, it’s so plain.

All those restaurants offering lemon water are on to something. It just tastes better. Adding fruit to water lately has really helped me drink just a little bit more each day.

Except …. remembering to buy lemons each week, slice them and squeeze for each glass of water is a little too much work for this non-water drinking gal. Oh and then there’s the dirty dishes & utensils that it creates.

Lemons are loaded with vitamins and immune boosting benefits. While it’s definitely worth the work to drink a glass of lemon water each day, I knew there was an easier way to prep this.

Here’s what I do instead: Whole Lemon Ice Cubes

Buy LOTS of lemons during ONE trip to the grocery store.

Like I mentioned above, lemons have LOTS of health benefits. But would you believe the PEEL actually contains the most? Crazy, right? No, I’m not eating the peels, but I am going to drink them.

I chop up all the lemons I purchased, place them in a high speed blender  (adding a little water )and blend until the consistency is smooth.

Blend whole lemons to make lemon ice cubes!

I pour roughly 1/2 inch of juice in each cube of an ice tray.  Then place the tray on a flat surface in my freezer.

Each morning, I pour a large water bottle full of water and toss a lemon cube in!

If you like to drink warm water instead, simply heat up your water before adding the lemon cube to melt.

freezing lemons is a perfect way to make lemon ice cubes for daily drinking!

Start your day off right with a big glass of lemon water!

Love this tip? Don’t forget to Pin It for Later!Easy freezer whole lemon ice cubes are an easy way to start the morning healthy!

 




 

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I LOVE a good DIY project, except when it turns out like a #Pinterestfail. Here’s my tips to make your next home project a success! I love diy projects, especially those found on Pinterst!

I love surfing Pinterest and admiring all the amazing DIYs. Sometimes I even love doing some of the DIY projects I pin. But too often I find my projects turning in to a Pinterest fail. Not because my DIYing isn’t up to par, but more often because I didn’t have a great plan of attack before starting the project. Yes, the projects I find on Pinterest have amazing tutorials and are easy to follow.

But …. and a big BUT,  often projects need to be customized to you. Your house. Your style. Your supplies.

So instead of quickly jumping in blindly, I’ve learned to take time to evaluate how the project will work for ME, in my home, in my space.

DIY project tip: READ READ and READ again all the instructions!

Read the entire blog post

Hello Captain Obvious. But hear me out. Every blogger has a different writing style and format for their posts. Some list all of the supplies at the beginning, while others mention them throughout the post. Some explain the expected level of skill right away while others don’t spell it out, so reading the entire post is imperative.

Also I’m just going to say it …. is the project worth it? Is it too time consuming or difficult? And is it too expensive? Yes, sometimes it’s just cheaper to buy instead of DIY.

But assuming the project still makes sense, let’s move on.

Make a list of ALL the supplies

Sometimes bloggers list ALL the supplies needed at the BEGINNING of the post. Personally, I prefer this format. I want to know everything I’ll need for the project up front.

But here’s the catch: sometimes bloggers assume that their readers have certain basic supplies which they may not mention in the supplies section. That’s why I read the entire post making not of all supplies mentioned throughout the tutorial.

To ensure your diy project is a sucess, make sure to measure the space you're using BEFORE you buy any supplies!

Measure

This tip is applicable whether you’re coming a DIY project of ANY kind. Always, always, always take the time to measure. Then measure a second time. Nothing is more frustrating to me than thinking I’m ready to start a good DIY only to find that my supplies don’t fit the space.

I not only measure the space, but I always bring a measuring tape in my purse.

This allows me to measure the size of the item at the store. Sometimes items at the store won’t have the exact measurements listed on the tag.

Search before purchase

This is another no brainer, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Before running to the store, I always take inventory of what items we already have in our home. I hate buying something I already own. That’s how I ended up with 4 tape measures 😳.

Make your next diy project a sucess by following these important tips!

Purchase

Determine which store you’re going to shop at for supplies. I’ve made the mistake of assuming that my go to craft store would have everything I need. Sometimes it’s worth it to call the store ahead of time or search their website.

Space

Some DIYs can make a clean room look like a tornado came rushing through. Keep this in mind when deciding where to set up shop. I often use our office as my DIY space since I’m typically the only one that used this space.

Deadline

There’s the deadline I WANT to be able to accomplish the project by. Then there’s the timeframe that’s more realistic, the one that takes in to account my busy schedule, purchasing supplies that I don’t have, drying time (if it’s a painting project), etc.

As many of us know, DIY projects can take over your home if you’re not careful. Set a hard completion deadline before your first paint stroke.

 

I hope these tips are helpful for all your DIYers out there! I love a great DIY project, especially if I take the time to set myself up for success!

If these tips are helpful, don’t forget to Pin for Later

Here's how to make any Pinterest project a sucess with these DIY project tips!

 




 

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We’re midway through the month and I’m already starting to slack on my New Year’s resolutions. Luckily (or not!?), I’m in good company as the average New Year’s resolution only lasts 11 days. Life gets busy and what seems like the ‘I must accomplish this calendar year’ turns in to more of an inconvenience.

One of my goals for this year is to take better care of myself and create sustainable morning beauty routine. Nothing crazy, but the wash your face every day, drink water, go to bed on time. You know, the essentials that are easy to slack on. Any time I’m busy, up against a deadline or travel (for work or personal), I struggle with keeping my routine.

So this year I’m going back to basics and making things easier. No crazy, over the top, hard to accomplish goals. Just doing things that I should have been doing all along. Today I’m excited to partner with Olay at Sam’s Club to give to show you how I’m simplifying my morning beauty routine!

Before I established my routine, I really needed to determine what beauty products I even needed. My toiletries were getting OUT OF CONTORL. I had so many in my cabinet, many that I wasn’t even using and one too many half full bottles that I had forgotten about.

Olay has a really cool online tool called the Olay Skin Advisor Tool that helps you pick the right products for your face. In order to give you the best advice the tool takes a photo of your face (straight from your computer) and after answering a couple questions you’ll be provided a list of products and tips for great skincare.

This takes the guessing out of which products will & won’t work and customizes a skin regimen – all based on a selfie and a couple questions! I learned that I need to be moisturizing a LOT more. (Likely needing to drink more water too, but that’s another story.)

The coolest (or scariest) part is the site uses that photo of your face to show your “skin age.”

All the Olay products on the tool are available at Sam’s Club!

Now with products in hand, here’s my new SIMPLE morning beauty routine.

There are a couple things I do in the evening for an easy morning

Shower at night Now I know this isn’t for everyone, but it has really helped me simplify my morning beauty routine. Plus, it lets me SLEEP in just a little bit longer. Who doesn’t love that?

Drinking water A little tip I’ve started doing is to fill up a water bottle and place it on my night stand before I go to bed. Then first thing in the morning when I wake up, I can quickly drink my first glass of water.

Now on to the morning:

Wake up at the same time each day I like to get up early. Well, in theory. When that alarm clock goes off it’s another story. I try to get up by 6am most mornings, so I can get ready for the day, possibly do a quick workout or blogging work before Declan wakes up at 7am. Having an hour to myself before he wakes up has proven to be motivation enough.

Storage Solutions Remember those shower caddies we all used in college to store all our beauty supplies? I’ve been putting all my products in a shower caddy for YEARS now, but recently took it up a notch. I now use two toiletry bags for my daily routine (one for makeup and one for beauty products …. lots of moisturizer 🙂 ). This system makes it easy to use any bathroom in our house to get ready in the morning. It also really helps me streamline my beauty products. Only products used daily go in the bags.

The right products Using the toiletry bags really reinforces the idea of just having the products you really want on hand. When I was at Sams Club I stocked up on moisturizers and eye cream based on the results of my Olay Skin Advisor Tool and keep them in my toiletry bag for daily use.

Drink green tea Now I LOVE my cup of coffee (errr pot of coffee). While I’m not a huge tea drinker (hello team coffee), I know that green tea has a lot of health benefits. So, I substitute one cup of coffee for green tea each morning.

That’s it! That’s my morning beauty routine. I find that if I can keep this up for a couple months then I’ll commit to other beauty regimens. I’ve learned from experience that having too many goals can back fire on me, so I’m starting the year off simple!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.

 





 

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