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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Organized Chaos AKA Family Pictures 2017

Family pictures with young kids is notoriously challenging. No matter the dynamic, there is some level of stress that is associated with these highly coveted pictures! I wrote a post last year about my best family picture success advice (check it out here!) so I am not writing today to give any advice, merely to share the result of the stress. It may take some preparation, work, or bribery (no judgement!), but it is always, ALWAYS worth it. (Husbands, are you reading this?!).

Now please excuse me while I cry over how perfect these came out and how adorable my kids are! You can shop our outfits if you scroll to the bottom of the post. But before you do, check out the cuteness! I mean, I may be biased but…. I am obsessed. Carry on.

Oh, don’t let me forget this. Help me not to forget the squinty eyed smiles, the insatiable desire to be held or the fierce independence and fearlessness (sometimes both at the same time). Let me never forget the giggles, snuggles, and sound of them calling out to mama. I am so thankful for pictures like this to help me capture this beautiful (and chaotic) phase of life!

Thank you to Bekad Scadding for these amazing pictures! Contact her here if you are local. She works some magic with kids (which if you have kids, you know that is hard to do!).

My Outfit:


dress / boots / similar necklace / similar jean jacket

Marcus’ Outfit:

tee / sport coat / similar jeans / chukka boot

Scarlett’s Outfit:

similar blouse / leggings / boots / bow

Levi’s Outfit:

striped thermal / jersey lined chambray / khakis / boots

Eloise’s Outfit:

peplum tee / similar hooded sweater vest / leggings / similar boots 

Affiliate links used. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Instagram Roundup: 10/31-11/20

I have a different audience from Facebook to Instagram to the blog, so I thought I should round up all my outfits in one place! I have included all links to exact items, or listed similar ones that I could find. Everything is true to size unless I mention specifically. Let me know if you have any questions about any specific items!

Also, 80% of the things linked here are for sale! There are some crazy sales going on right now!

jeans (size down) / tank / similar cardigan / booties / necklace / similar earrings / popsocket

jeans (size down) / similar striped shirt / vest / sneakers / necklace

Levi’s striped shirt / jeans / boots / vest

Eloise’s vest / similar leggings / similar tunic / headband

similar dress / similar boots / similar necklace / similar jean jacket 

jeans / booties / sweater / similar scarf / necklace

jeans (size down) / plaid shirt (size up) / similar cardigan / similar booties / necklace / popsocket

dress (size up or SUPER bodycon) / heels / leather jacket (size up 2)/ similar necklace

leggings / pullover (size up) / vest / sneakers / necklace

high waisted jeans (size up 3 sizes!) / sweater / vest / similar booties / similar necklace

jeans (size down) / booties / striped tee / pullover (size up) / necklace / similar belt

joggers / slippers (size up) / henley / necklace 

bralette (pay attention to size chart) / leggings / sweater / popsocket

Thanks for following along, and I hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving week!

Affiliate links used. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Family Snow Day

I had a couple minutes between working out and lunchtime, so we decided to take a quick trip outside to play in the fresh snow. (Quick trip outside. In the winter. With kids. Never quick… ha!). But we had a blast playing in the snow today! Here are some snaps of the fun. (Skip to the bottom for outfit links!)

It may be cold outside, but it is totally worth it. Get outside! Go play!

Scarlett and one of her sidekicks. Living with my parents (and all their animals) has inspired her to ask for a dog. And ask. And ask. What’s one more life to keep alive, right?

We have GIANT snowbanks now. All the more fun to climb!

Something I didn’t anticipate about blogging was me being in front of a camera so much. It seems almost vain. I spend so much time behind the lens  that I forget to document myself, but I am part of the equation too. So as uncomfortable as I am, I am forcing myself to be IN the pictures, not just behind the camera. I want my kids to remember that I was there playing, too!

This girl. She is becoming such a beautiful, sweet little lady.

This little girl had some troubles navigating through the snow and faceplanted a couple times. She still had a great time though!

Thanks for joining in on our adventure! Naptime is over, now real life begins again 😉

My outfit

jacket (I just got this on MAJOR sale! Keep your eyes out) / boots / jeans / similar hat / similar scarf

Scarlett’s outfit

similar jacket / snowpants / boots / similar hat

Levi’s outfit

jacket / snowpants / boots / similar hat

Eloise’s outfit

similar snowsuit similar sled

Dressing Room Chronicles

*Since this is Cyber Week, I figured I would post this instead of my normally scheduled post so you can take advantage of some awesome deals!*

dressing-room-chronicles

Seeing a picture of myself in clothes always looks different than what I see in the mirror. Am I the only one? My friend and I went shopping on Sunday after church and we picked up a ton of great things! I took some snaps of one store (simply because I forgot the other until I was done trying) and thought maybe you’d like to see. Keep your eye on future outfit posts to see what I ended up with ?

Just a little disclaimer- these are not good pictures. But at least you can get an idea how each item fits and maybe get a gift for someone you know (or yourself…).

The jeans and booties I’m wearing in these pictures are what I wore to the store. These [eafl id=647 name=”Gap Skinny Jeans” text=”skinny jeans”] are amazing and such a great basic! I got these booties last year at Nordstrom Rack and they are unavailable, but similar ones [eafl id=648 name=”brown booties” text=”here.”] If you have a good eye you can spot my [eafl id=649 name=”jcrew factory jacket” text=”jacket”] too. It’s my FAVORITE and I wear it almost every day. (It’s on sale too!)

I have been needing a good [eafl id=645 name=”chunky knit sweater” text=”chunky knit sweater”] for forever. This one was super comfy, but not so fitted that I couldn’t eat a few extra tacos. The sleeves are long enough which is awesome. It is heavy enough but not too heavy.

This [eafl id=646 name=”marled sweater” text=”marled sweater”] was great. Great basic for the price point! I would call it a medium thickness, so perfect for fall.

This [eafl id=651 name=”old navy basic long sleeved tee” text=”long sleeved tee”] is great. Good stretchy material with long enough sleeves (can you tell this is my pet peeve?). I sized up to a medium for a looser fit, and hopefully it will wash well.

Basics was the name of the game this trip. If you read my post about my body struggles, you’ll know I need basically entire new wardrobe. This was another cute top to add to the cart.

This turtleneck- I could gush about it all day. I have never been a turtleneck fan, but this might convert me. It is super lightweight and stretchy, and of course, stripes. Add to the bag!

This[eafl id=654 name=”jersey tee” text=”jersey long sleeved tee”] was a great layering piece. It was really stretchy and not too fitted. It comes in great color options too!

Ok this I am obsessed with. Between the [eafl id=655 name=”gingham flannel” text=”gingham shirt “]and [eafl id=656 name=”frost free vest” text=”vest”], this is a great outfit in itself! The vest is suuuuper comfy and warm. Believe it or not, I didn’t wear vests until last year. I was convinced my arms would be cold! Boy was I wrong. They are so perfect for fall! Now I can’t get enough of them. I want one in every color. The [eafl id=655 name=”gingham flannel” text=”gingham flannel”] was great fitting and a perfect closet staple. Easy to dress up or down!

And that’s a wrap! As you may have noticed, everything hailed from Old Navy. My girlfriend and I did do some damage at Nordstrom, but like I said before, I completely forgot to snap some pictures. Now I have an excuse to go shopping again….

Old Navy is having some great sales still! Up to 50% off and free shipping over $50. Are you reading that husband?… 😉

What do you think? Are you in need of some basics like I was? Which was your favorite? Share below!

 

dressing-room-chronicles