An Uncomplicated Life Blog: August 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017


Hey guys, just like I took a two week break last year to soak up the rest of summer, I'm doing so again! I know many of y'all are cramming these last few weeks of summer in with family vacations, last minute weekend getaways and getting that summer bucket list as marked off as possible. Me too! So go enjoy the weather and I'll see you back here with TONS of awesome content (and some really cool collaborations) on August 24 - just in time for those kids to go back to school.

See you Thursday, August 24! 

This is what we'll be up to! And by we, I actually mean the boys, because I hate fishing. So gross and boring.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Easy Back To School Morning Routine

Get back into the easy, stress free school morning routine with General Mills and Costco AND help raise money for your child's school!

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

Who's excited about back to school time?! While I love having my kids in preschool three days a week so that I have more time to devote to my blog and business, I am NOT a fan of how hectic mornings can be. Our school doesn't start until 9am so we don't have to wake up at a completely terrible hour, but in two years when Henry starts kindergarten, it's going to be insanely early. I'm not a morning person, so insanely early translates to insanely last minute and insanely last minute translates to hectic for this type A planner. But it doesn't *have* to be that way! I'm rounding up my best tips for calm, stress free and efficient back to school morning routines. Oh, and there's also an awesome sweepstakes for you to enter with Costco!

Have you ever heard/been annoyed by that saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail"? Yeah, well it's true. Fail might be a bit extreme, but it will result in more stress and more chaos. Like I mentioned, I'm NOT a fan of mornings, and I want things to be as seamless and smooth as possible. I'm not one for talking, especially prior to coffee, and I don't want any power struggles, last minute meltdowns (that's not just from the kids - it includes me too!) or too much going on in the mornings. The older I get, the longer it seems to take my brain to "turn on" and having all that nonsense so early in the morning just gets my day off to a bad start.

So, what can be done to improve your back to school morning routine? Here's what I do to ensure things are as easy as possible for the kids AND for me:

1) Make lunches the night before. Yes. Just do it. Before you sit on the couch, before you pour an evening glass of wine, make those lunches! If you build it into your nighttime kitchen cleaning practices, it will become habit. It's so nice to just throw those lunches into the kids backpacks in the morning! Oh, and when my kids get to first grade? They'll start to help me make their lunches and I plan on having them entirely make their lunches by second grade. Don't think that will happen? Watch me. It's how I grew up, and it's how they'll grow up too.

2)  Make sure backpacks are packed and all paperwork/homework is in place the night before. Whether it be tuition checks, field trip waivers, diapers, or other various supplies your child might need or your school requires your child to have, make sure it's all in there and ready to go the night before! Then all you'll have to do is add those lunches (that you already packed).

3) Check the weather and plan outfits the night before. This works really well with my littlest child since he's too young to care what he wears. It's slightly trickier with my oldest. I usually look at the weather so I know what I'm working with, then give him two options on what to wear. This way, he feels like he has autonomy over his wardrobe but I still have the ability to plan ahead. Win-win.

4) Make breakfast easier. I don't allow my kids to eat in my car, but they can walk about the house while they eat breakfast (it's the only meal I let them walk about for, and really it's so I can get stuff done while they eat and therefore everyone can sleep longer! #protip from a woman who likes to sleep) Ziplock bags make Cheerios on the go so easy, and I love to throw a granola bar in my purse so I can eat it on the way home after school drop off. No, I'm not that mean mom who doesn't allow the kids to eat in the car, but eats in front of her kids! That's just rude.
Speaking of breakfasts, did you know Costco has all these General Mills products stocked at affordable prices? Yeah, go stock up wholesale style and you'll have easy breakfasts for weeks! Or if your kids eat like mine do, days. The thing that's extra cool about these products is that you can simultaneously fund raise for your child's school by saving the Box Tops logo on the box. As a bonus for some back to school inspiration, Costco is hosting a sweepstakes where you could win extra box tops for your kid's school! Let me translate that for you: win money for your child's school. Here's how to enter:

How to Enter Costco Sweeps:
  • Take a photo about how Box Tops for Education inspires imagination in your kid
  • Preferred ways of entry: Instagram or Twitter
  • Can upload to microsite as well but is not the preferred way of entry
  • Follow @BTFE on Twitter or Instagram (this is how winner will be notified so must follow this handle)
  • Share and use hashtag: #InspireContest
  • Prize: 3,000 Costco members will win. Each winner will win 100 Box Tops for their school
  • Sweeps will not include/do not engage in e-box tops
Sweepstakes fine print:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years or older. Ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on 9/30/17. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions visit Void where prohibited by law. Use of “#InspireContest” when posting entry constitutes entrant’s agreement to Official Rules. Sponsor: General Mills.
Each box top is worth 10 cents to redeeming school when clipped from box tops products and sent to the redeeming school. Only BTFE registered schools can redeem box tops. Limit $20,000 per school per year for box tops redeemed through the clip program. See www.boxtopsforeducation.comfor program details.
Box tops for education makes raising funds for your child's school so easy!
I hope my pointers help make your back to school morning routine a tad easier for everyone! Remember, planning ahead is the key to a successful, less stress morning. General Mills products make my life easier by providing nutritious convenience foods to eat on the go (or, to eat wandering around the house, as my kids like to do.) Costco makes them super affordable, and their sweepstakes could help you raise some cash for your child's school. How awesome is that?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Dear Moms, You CAN Do This

An encouragement letter to moms during the final weeks of summer break

Dear mom, 

You're tense. You're tired. You've cleaned up the kitchen for the fifth (sixth? tenth?) time today. You've been asked the same questions all day, and have asked your children to do the same things all day. "Mom, I'm hungry, what are you making to eat?" "Sweetheart, please, please please go make your bed!"

Feel like your kids are going to drown you this summer, mamas? 

You're going on month three of this. Your right eye is twitching and your shoulders are tense. You're not getting nearly as much done around the house as you'd like, and all your side projects are on hold. If you work part time, your work has suffered. Your "side hustle" has come to all but a grinding halt.

Back in June, you had grand plans for the summer. You even prepared a bucket list of ideas so that nobody could get bored or complacent. At first the community pool or splash pad was a luxury. Driving out to a berry farm was an adventure. But all that June glory has given way to the August heat. Heat that's full of boredom, whines, questions, and perhaps most importantly of all, a complete lack of time for yourself and YOUR interests.

Oh mama, I want you to know I KNOW. I know. It's not just you. You're not a bad mom because you're counting down the seconds until your children go back to school. You're not a bad mom because while June made the community pool seem so fresh and refreshing, it now smells bad and grosses you out. You're not a bad mom because driving to the berry farm seems like a waste of gas money, and after all, it's so dang hot to be outside, picking berries and being attacked by bugs.

You're not a bad mom because the bucket list got pushed by the wayside. What was planned to be a grand time has given way to running through the sprinkler, playing with the same old toys, heck - maybe even a movie at 2pm in the afternoon, because a few extra hours of screen time today won't kill anyone, right?

My summer has devolved to the kids eating bubbles and screaming, too. But we CAN do this!

Dear mom, you CAN do this! You can make it to fall. You can weather another day of nonstop questions and obnoxious requests. Your side hustle, your work, your personal interests WILL all bounce back again this fall. Your brain will return to normal and it will get used again! Odds are you'll even miss those kiddos as they disappear off to school. And I bet you by December, you'll be longing for these slow summer days again.

You can do it mamas. There's not much summer left now. The finish line is in sight. You're not a bad mom or a failure if you didn't do anything particularly special this summer, or if you threw out all romantic ideas of summer break back in July. You're a hero to your kids. You're a hero to your spouse. Dear moms, you CAN do this!

Paige aka another SAHM with a suffering side hustle 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday Confessions

Deep, possibly dark, usually embarrassing thoughts

I know I wrote a "Currently" post last week and now I'm changing up Wednesday Confessions to a Thursday, but here's the truth: I have a few sponsored posts in draft form that I thought would get approved but haven't yet. So I can't publish those. We're headed on vacation in one week and the boys are off from school, so developing "real" blogger content has been, ummmmmmm, challenging. Have you ever tried to stage a photo shoot with toddlers around? Either they tear into it, ask you what you're doing seven million effing times, or start fighting/tearing up the house. It's impossible. So, I'm getting personal with you with some of my (possibly snarky) confessions today so that I don't have to do any photo shoots/editing. 

I confess that:

I have a BIG "influencer" crush. Hasan Piker is a political reporter and super leftist, but is tall, dark,  handsome, seven years younger than me and loves the f-bomb as much as I do. True love? Yeah, probably not, but his Instagram stories make me laugh and I love all his videos on Facebook. Crushin' that cradle rob so hard right now.

Oh, hai Hasan. Image source

I'm absolutely DREADING flying with two toddlers this month. Henry will have his own seat but Otto will be a lap baby. He's squirmy and HATES being confined, so this 2.5 hour flight will be a freaking delight for us and everyone around us. It's right about the time he takes his nap, so he'll either be kind to us and sleep or a complete terror and not sleep until we get in the car, which will then throw off bedtime and be a nice 15 hour day from hell. I'm betting he's a complete terror. For those of you who have well behaved children on flights, good for you. Every time we fly with our kids, I say NEVER AGAIN. Yet here we are, about to fly... Shoot me. 

Look at these faces! Flying with these two will just be a TREAT.

I've actually eaten enough tacos this summer to get "taco'd out." Yeah, I don't know how that happened, but it did. I need a solid week or two off from taco consumption, so it's a good thing we're headed to the land of Worst Mexican Food Ever, aka the Upper Midwest. 

I've forgotten what it's like to step outside and NOT get donkey-kicked in the face with heat, so I'm pretty excited to regain some memories of pleasant summers in Minnesota. Oh, and see water that is actually clear, and not a radioactive green like the "lakes" (all man made reservoirs) here in Dallas.

I'm already designing my custom planner for 2018. What's that, you say? We still have half of 2017 left? Whatevs, there's no time like the present, or so they say. Whoever the hell "they" are.

I'm reading Little Big Lies, and the book is better than the HBO series, if you watched that. I always tend to do things backwards, and watch the movie/series first, then read the book if I loved the movie. If you were into the series, get the book and read it! If you read the book, watch the series! 

I'm getting a little tired of Game Of Thrones. There's one more season after this and I think it's time they called it a day. Don't get me wrong, it's still great... I'm just a little "dragon and warfare and magic saturated" right now. SciFi has never really been my thang. And when it goes mainstream, it kinda loses it's appeal, amirite? I dunno, I watch it and I'm just like put the Mother of Dragons on the throne already and be done with it! How many more raunchy sex scenes and fake blood squirts do I need to watch here, dang. 

Y'all, I DIED at this meme

That's what has been lingering in the dark corners of my mind lately! Sorry I don't have a bunch of beautiful pics for you to check out. Don't worry, I'll have tons after our trip to the scenic lake lands of Minnesota. I was planning a blog break for that time, but inevitably that's when I'll get approval for these sponsored posts, so I'll be around. I'll certainly be around on my Instagram and IG stories (checking out Mr. Piker, duh, and likely posting stupid rants after a few glasses of wine, oops.)