Tips for a Smooth Morning with Kids

I get asked all the time is how I can get everyone ready and out of the house on time in the morning. Mornings can be a cluster when you have kids ifyouknowwhatImean. Three days a week Scarlett has to be at school for  8:30, so that means we all need to be out of the house by 8:15 (because every mom knows it takes almost 10 minutes to get on shoes and coats and load into the car, amiright?!). I am not perfect, but one thing I can’t stand is being late. I try my best to get ready and out of the house on time and hopefully have everyone out of pajamas! Actually, some days it’s just leggings for me, but that’s #momlife. Here’s my six tips for a smooth and successful morning! (Scroll to the bottom for outfit details!)

Secrets to Success:

Wake up way before kids

If you’ve followed along here for any time (or follow my instastories), you’ve noticed I wake up really early. Like way earlier than you think necessary. But, this is my number one secret to success. I get the things I need to get done for the day that are more difficult to do when the kids are awake. That includes waking up in general (I need a few minutes of quiet or I wake up like a bear…), coffee (see next point), devotional, exercise, and shower. Usually, but not always, in that order. (I can go into more detail about how I wake up so early another time, so if early waking isn’t for you, continue on to the next tips!)

To make it to school on time and fit in all those things, currently I wake up at 5:00 am. I know. Right now I am between Bible studies, but when I start my new one I will start waking up at 4:45. I get right up and start my day off right! Then once the kids start to wake up, I am in control of the day instead of the day controlling me. So, think of a time you’d like to wake up. Now wake up 3o minutes earlier than that. It will take time, but you’ll get into the habit!

Have coffee programmed

We invested in a grind and brew coffee system when our old Keurig died a couple years ago. It has a setting where I can prepare and program the coffee the night before and this has become a huge time saver! Instead of me preparing the coffee machine when I go downstairs and then waiting for it to brew, I walk down to a fresh cup waiting for me. Otherwise I would be waiting another 20 minutes by the time I prepared the coffee maker and waited for it to brew! If you aren’t a coffee drinker or have an instant coffee system, then you can ignore this one. But the difference in coffee is crazy!

Downstairs hair station

Hair is a big issue in our house. Scarlett has very snarly hair and it is super sensitive, so every morning it is a bit of a project. Instead of having to run upstairs with Scarlett (& now Levi too, he loves to have his hair done like daddy!), I have a little station in our powder bath downstairs. It is right outside the kitchen so I will either do their hair while they eat, or after they are done and dressed. It saves the hassle of rounding up the kids and going up a floor! (Believe it or not, a big time savings!). I keep everyday hair supplies down there in a drawer like a hairbrush, clear elastics, and hair gel. Her daily hairstyle is a small portion in front pinned back with a bow. We pick out a bow the night before with her outfit. Which brings me to my next point…

Set out outfits & pack lunch the night before

Part of our nighttime routine on school nights is picking out the next day’s clothes and setting them out. It also gives us a chance to talk about weather, appropriate layers, and styles for the activity of the next day. Scarlett loves to dress herself and is surprisingly interested in different sillhouettes and what pieces go with what. She’s totally my daughter 😉 Most mornings Scarlett will bring her outfit downstairs and she will put it on after breakfast. Picking it out the night before relieves me of having to have the conversation in the morning where time is so valuable!

Since Scarlett does lunch bunch at school, I also pack her lunchbox the night before. I can take my time and make a well-balanced meal for her when I am not rushed! I have forgotten to pack it at night and then had to make it the morning of, and let’s just say it wasn’t my best work… I leave her lunchbox insulator on the island counter so I remember to take it out of the fridge in the morning and put it in her backpack.

Need-to before want-to

Efficiency is key in the morning. We do all the things we “need” to do before we can do the things we “want” to do. That means we have to eat breakfast, clean up, get dressed, and be ready for the day before we can play! I try and hold myself to the same standard, although I have been slacking lately. That should mean no social media checks for me until I have crossed my need-to items off my list! As a reward I will let the kids watch a show once everyone is all ready. This also helps build teamwork skills to assist in getting each other ready for the day! Most mornings the kids will watch an episode of something in the morning if they get ready efficiently. I usually finish getting myself ready (hair/makeup) during this time.

Car floss

This one is a weird one, I’ll be honest. But it works for me! I use Plackers and floss on the way to school. Normally I may skip flossing because it takes time and we are rushing to get out of the door. If I do it while driving to school it maximizes my time! There’s nothing like a healthy habit that saves a little time. Also if you haven’t used Plackers, you need to try them! I haven’t had success with other brands, so stick with these (no, not sponsored!) They work so well and you can do it with one hand. Bonus points because I have a small mouth and it is easier for me!

Shop the look here:

sweater / jeans (size up 3!) / vest / necklace (similar here) / sunglasses / boots (size down) / bralette 

Do you have any secrets to getting out of the house in one piece? Share with me below! I would love to hear.

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Golden

I celebrated my golden birthday last month (28 on the 28th). My husband asked me my thoughts about getting older, and I have been pondering it for a bit now. While I am not afraid of aging, I am actually OK with getting older. In a culture that fears age for vain reasons, I am looking forward to who I am becoming. Not only am I getting older, but I am getting better. I am a better mom. I am a better wife. I am a better friend. I am kinder to myself. Age has a way of teaching you things, even when you aren’t realizing it, and I feel like I am becoming who I am supposed to be.

The number keeps getting higher, but it’s only a number. That old adage that says you are only as old as you feel is so true for me. I don’t feel old, nor is 28 even considered old (just depends who is looking at it).  I have made fitness a priority in my life, so my body has treated me well. While my diet may not be the best or cleanest, I am strong. I have muscles. And you know what? My thighs touch. But you know what that means? I have strong legs to bounce my kids on and run to keep up with them. Fitness is a part of my life and will be forever. I don’t want to feel old because of how my body feels. I want to feel young. I want to get older.

I want to perfect that balance of taking care of myself and taking care of others. It is a delicate combination, because if I spend too much time caring for others and forsaking my own health, that isn’t good. If I spend too much time focusing on myself then I become selfish and vain, and can’t sufficiently care for others. Does that even make any sense? That is why I work out. I run, I lift weights, and I get enough sleep, I eat and drink in moderation. So there is a balance that I am trying to figure out, but it is important. Everything I do affects my body either negatively or positively, and I am in control.

I also am learning to be kinder to myself. My body has gone through a lot in the past five years, so I should be in awe of what my body has done instead of frustrated that I still haven’t lost that last bit of belly flub. I will never be the person who is proud of my stretch marks (thanks, Levi), but I won’t obsess over them. Do I want that flat stomach? Yes. I should probably eat less ice cream. Progress over perfection. I just really like ice cream 😉

I have more wrinkles this year, but that means that I have smiled and experienced more. I want the kind of friends where your heart warms just thinking about that person. I want less relationships, and the ones I have to be more genuine. I want to surround myself with people who will inspire me, support me, and make me better. I have pulled away from those relationships that were more draining and negative because I don’t need that in my life. I would rather have a few close friends than a bunch of mediocre ones. The phase of life I am in is very busy and demanding, so I have to choose how I spend my time wisely. I don’t want to spend my time with someone who isn’t making me a better version of myself.

If I have the privilege of getting older, that means I have more time to spend with my amazing husband. And that means I have more time to practice loving him and making him happy. I was blessed to find my partner early in life, and I am so thankful for that. We are approaching ten years as a couple, which I can’t quite wrap my head around how it has been that long! Ten years with a man as awesome and selfless as him, and I am just beginning to learn how to love and appreciate him the way he deserves. I am a lucky girl, and I don’t want to take him for granted.

I am learning to care less about what people think of me. For someone who is very sensitive by nature, this has been a big one for me. I can’t control what people think. I can’t make everyone like me, nor should I try. I can’t make everyone happy. I will stand up for what is right, but I won’t go out of my way to try and help someone who doesn’t want to change. If I am doing my best and loving others, then that is where I accept reality and move on.

Growing up also means pushing myself out of my comfort zone. That’s where the growth happens! I need to think less about what others will think and more about my goals in life and what I need to do to get me there. The reality is that I am my own harshest critic, and more than likely other people may not care as much as I think they will. A big part of that is this blog and forcing myself to be in front of the camera. I am not comfortable in front of the camera, and I’m not sure I ever will be. I am learning to share my voice and ideas, as awkward as I may feel. I am proving to myself that I can do things outside my comfort zone, and that is how I can make myself better.

 

I am learning not to make excuses, but also to know when to give myself a break. It really comes down to choices and priorities. I am the kind of person that needs to be busy. I went through a phase where I had so much planned, and now looking back I don’t think it was healthy for me or the kids. While a lot of what was on the schedule was kid-centered activities and playdates, there was too much structure. I am learning to relax. I am learning to prioritize what really needs to be done. Needs come before wants. Chores come before play. As a mom I am realizing how important it is to teach these theories to my kids, and I am learning just how much my kids learn from example. That means not being on my phone all day long, checking social medias and texts. That means teaching my kids to serve others before you serve yourself. It means always using your manners, and loving someone even when they are unlovable. The value of an apology goes a long way, and I am seeing that with my kids. I mess up, and I want my kids to see that I am human and make mistakes, and can swallow my pride and apologize when I need to. That is the whole picture of Jesus, right?

I want to embrace getting older. Every year I earn means I am acquiring more wisdom, understanding, and love. Age isn’t scary. I don’t want to look back on my life and be disappointed in who I was. I want to live a life that I am proud of and appreciate who I am becoming. I want to inspire others to do the same: be a better person. I want to set those goals. To take the risk. Be diligent. Don’t make excuses for myself. I know by God’s grace I am capable of whatever I set my mind to!

 

One Dress, Two Ways

I am always looking for ways to maximize my wardrobe. I loooove to shop, but the reality is that I don’t shop that often. PinkBlush reached out to me and I was beyond excited! Have you heard of PinkBlush? PinkBlush is a trendy online boutique with so many cute and classic options to choose from. I was beyond impressed with their selection online. Not only do they have regular women’s clothes, but they have an extensive maternity clothes selection as well. I chose this gorgeous slate blue ruched dress and I couldn’t be more happy with my selection. Keep scrolling and you’ll see why! This dress was super comfortable and easy to wear. (And you can wear it while pregnant. No, I am not pregnant nor do I plan to any time soon!).

**Head on over to Instagram for a $50 PinkBlush giveaway! www.instagram.com/nicole.warner. Details, instructions, and exclusions are listed over there. Head on over to enter! Good luck!

Ok. Onto the clothes. I am so obsessed with this dress. The long sleeves allow it to transition through many seasons, but the lightweight material allows for easy non-bulky layering.

To start I put together a little date night look. Leather jacket, cute dress, and wedges. Simple, easy to wear, but still sexy enough for a night out.

 

Can we just comment on the sunshine right here? And the fact that I have bare legs? I am appreciating it while I can. And still in denial that we are supposed to get snow today and tomorrow. And it is almost April. Moving on.

 

The ruching is very flattering. For someone who is thicker on bottom (#squats) the angle of the hem is so great!

 

 

 

Here’s the next look. Taking a more casual approach, I paired the dress with simple sandals and accessories and added a utility vest. Because I love my utility vests. And I inserted a little girl for added cuteness.

Also, you know when you need warm weather if you still look crazy pale, even after an application of self tanner. Just saying.

I’m not cocky but I totally feel #prettyinpinkblush.

 

 

 

 

Are you familiar with PinkBlush? Go check out their website at www.shoppinkblush.com and browse their selection. I know you’ll be impressed! As a stay at home mom with three under four, online shopping is where it’s at.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway over on Instagram! 

www.instagram.com/nicole.warner

 

Date Night Look

dress  c/o PinkBlush / shoes / necklace / similar jacket / similar ring

Casual Look

dress c/o PinkBlush / shoes / necklace / similar vest / similar ring / sunglasses

Scarlett’s Look

similar sweater  / skirt / leggings / moccasins c/o Freshly Picked

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Image is shoppable! Just click on the dress above.