Macchiato Mondays

As most of you know, I’m a self proclaimed book nerd and avid coffee lover. And so not a Monday morning type of person. I thought what better way to start off the week than with a little book club style “coffee break”, if you will.

So, imagine, instead of sitting at your cubicle, you’re instead at home curled up in your favorite little reading nook. You’ve got your steaming cup of coffee on the table beside you, a new book, and a whole rainy day looming in front of you with nothing to do but read and listen to the thunder.

Those used to be my favorite types of days and I thought we all could use a little bit more of that in our lives. So starting today, “Macchiato Monday’s” officially begin. I’ll feature a new coffee recipe each week along with 5 of my favorite books. And don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of “favorite” books, wink wink.

Continue Reading

The Wednesday Wish List

Disclaimer- This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

Welcome to the first installment of the Wednesday Wish List! Friday’s usually get all the glory but Wednesdays are such an underrated day! It deserves to be celebrated! Because after all, it’s the middle of the week, baby! Only 2 more days to go!

So, what is this Wednesday wish list I speak of? Here I’ll be talking about any favorite things of mine or what I’ve been enjoying this week so far. And also, things I have on my radar that I’ve been eyeing. I would love for you to weigh in if there’s anything you’ve been loving, too! In this day of the internet, it’s hard to hear an unbiased opinion from someone, without them trying to get something in return.

Continue Reading

How to Entertain Small Kids in Hotel When Raining

Greetings from Lexington, KY!! We’re here waiting to cheer on our Fighting Tiger baseball team in the state semifinals. We were supposed to play tonight, however, Mother Nature had other plans. So, we cancelled tonight due to rain and will hopefully be able to play in the morning.

Which means……. I have 2 small kiddos to entertain in a tiny hotel room for the entire day. And I don’t know what it is, but you confine our kids to a small space and they go stir crazy quickly. I guess even they have their limits on how many episodes of Paw Patrol they can watch.

So, here are some tips we’ve learned throughout our stay to hopefully help out someone getting ready to be in our shoes.

Tip #1 Find a hotel with an indoor pool

Luckily, our hotel has a heated indoor pool. I hadn’t done any research on where to stay, just booked where my husband and his team were staying. This was a huge life saver.

Our kids love the water and we were able to spend a few hours letting them expel lots of energy. Plus ol’ Mom here got to relax on a lounge chair for awhile. And it also served as a bargaining chip for good behavior when the whining started up. Win win.

We are also fortunate to have an arcade and indoor half basketball court here. Truth be told, I just turned the kids loose and let them play the demos on all the games. Obviously, older kids would figure that out and it wouldn’t be as cheap, but my kids thought they were at Disney World.

Tip #2) Actually let your 4 year old daughter pack all the toys she wants

When we were packing throwing stuff in a suitcase last night, my daughter kept tossing in all kinds of toys. After a few rounds of me telling her we didn’t need to bring all that and her sneaking it back in, I gave up.

But once we got here and realized there were no baseball games to be played, I was so glad. It kept her and her brother entertained for a few hours this morning. Don’t tell her she was right. She loves proving me wrong and she’s only 4. Heaven help me!

Tip #3) Kids love movie theaters! And popcorn!

This really is nothing earth shattering. I mean, what kid doesn’t love a movie theater. I just forgot how much! Something about sitting in their own big reclining seat with a big ol’ bucket of greasy, buttery popcorn and kids get all giddy!

Bonus points if it’s 3-D. Maybe it’s just us? Our kids are finally at the age where going to the movies is a feasible- dare I say- almost enjoyable option.

Of course, there are other honorable mentions that we didn’t attempt today such as shopping, or an indoor trampoline park. We just tried to keep it low key and relatively affordable. Plus, we’ve been so on the go lately that it was nice to have a little downtime too.

We also made a quick Walmart run this morning to grab some essentials for the room, like snacks and juice, since we have a little mini fridge and microwave in our room. Also had to pick up some puddle jumpers for the kids because that is the one thing I forgot.

Any tips I left out or anything you have to add?

How to Keep a Tidy Home During Busy Seasons (Hint- You Don’t!)

We are in the thick of baseball season over here, which is why I’ve been M.I.A. this past week. 6 of the past 7 days have consisted of putting in a full day’s work and then driving an hour to watch regional baseball games. The earliest I have gotten home all week is 11. Mama is tired. My kids are monsters. And my house is dirty.

I’ve kept the house pretty together through baseball season this year, but this past week has done me in. Our fridge is bare, our laundry piles plentiful, and our floor littered with shoes, discarded socks, and other on the go paraphernalia.

This week they made school history by winning the regional tournament and are now advancing to the elite 8 in state. I am so proud of my husband and our “baseball boys” (as my daughter calls them), and I hope they go all the way. This team is so special and talented and just all around cool kids.

But…

I can’t wait to have my husband back again. Can’t wait for home projects to start back up and to actually eat home cooked meals again. And last but not least, I can’t wait to get my life house back to normal and my routines back in place.

That being said, I do have some tips for how to keep your sanity during these busy seasons of life. What works for me may not work for you. You may require a lot more or maybe even less than I do. It’s all about just finding that balance and discovering what your nonnegotiables are. By that, I mean the things that absolutely, positively have to get done each night to keep you from losing your mind:)

1.) Lower your standards. Now, lower again.

This is just something that I have to do. There is no feasible way I can maintain my home, work full time, support my husband coaching, and take care of my children. Something has to give and unfortunately that is always my home. It makes it easier that I know it’s just for a few months, and then life will resume to normal. After 2 pregnancies, I can do anything for a few months.

At the beginning of baseball season, I still try to do too much. I think, well, this new me is sooo much better than last year’s me. I can totally do a lot more this season. Then, reality sets in. I run out of steam about mid April realizing this year’s me is no better than last year’s me, and that’s when my standards get lowered, again. This is the time where if it’s not a necessity, it just ain’t happening.

Which leads me to my next point.

Know What It Takes To Keep Your Sanity

There are 3 unnegotiables for me. I know, for a fact, if these 3 things aren’t done on a daily basis, I will lose my mind. If I can manage to just do these things, I feel somewhat still in control and on top of things.

1.) The sink must be empty.

I have 2 small kids and our dishwasher is usually run at least once a day. If I haven’t been cooking much, it sometimes can be stretched to every other day. So at some point during the day, I know that the dishwasher has to be unloaded and reloaded and that my sink needs to be wiped down. I firmly believe this is the number one thing to focus on. It literally takes 5 minutes to do and then my mind can rest at ease.

2.) Pick up the clutter

In case I didn’t say it earlier, I have 2 small kids. They can wreak more havoc in the five minutes it takes me to unload the dishwasher than a tornado in Oklahoma. I usually take this on after my youngest is in bed for the night. I’ll usually spend around 15-30 minutes doing this, depending on the amount of time we’ve been home. Obviously, if we haven’t been home much all day it may not take this long.

Once the main living areas are straightened, the calm is restored to our house. Yeah, sure, there are still dust bunnies on the floor and the house could use a good mopping. But, remember, this isn’t a quest to make your house perfect. Just livable. Just clean enough to keep your kids if CPS came knocking kind of stuff.

3.) Wipe the countertops down and sweep the kitchen floor.

This takes 2 minutes tops. I’ve got my handy cleaning spray located on the counter for easy access. A quick wipe down and then a quick sweep of the floors and I’m done here.

4.) Laundry

I know, I know, I said 3 things. But really #4 isn’t even an option. Your family has to have clean clothes to wear. As much as I hate it, this has to be done. I have to do at least one load a day to keep our family functioning. It looks a little different for me every day depending on what we’ve got going on. Sometimes I may switch the loads out first thing in the morning, sometimes I’m starting a load once I get home from work before I dash back out the door. You do you and what works for your fam.

I also try to put away one clean load a night after kids are in bed but sometimes this just doesn’t happen. More often than not, I pick a time when I’m home for the majority of the night and just have a major laundry sorting session.

So, these are my must haves for keeping my sanity during these busy times. These aren’t the times to be focused on perfection. Do what you can, when you can. It is completely okay to lessen your loads during these times. Whether you’re a fellow coach’s wife or have one child or multiple kids involved in all the sports or extracurriculars. Maybe you’re a military wife trying to survive while your husband is deployed. You’re not superwoman and neither am I. Believe me, I am not even close.

Just breathe and survive and love those babies. The rest will still be there. What are your tips for keeping your sanity?

5 Crock Pot Recipes For Busy Moms (That Will Knock Your Socks Off!)

I. Am. Exhausted.

This is the time of year I run on fumes, coffee, and wrinkled clothes I grab out of the bottom of the laundry basket. What? They’re clean at least! Not like my daughter’s Tball uniform top. It was fished out of her dirty’s clothes basket last night in an epic moment of #momfail. And you know what’s even worse? I didn’t even care. I was just glad we got to her game on time and everyone survived. Because that’s what spring is to me. Survival.

Jeremy coaches high school baseball. For those of you unfamiliar with that sport on that level, that means from mid March until hopefully beginning of June, he has 3-4 games per week. Chances are, a few of them will be home games and a few will be away. The earliest he gets home on a home game night is 9:30, if I’m lucky. Obviously, away game nights are much later.

In fact, it’s not unheard of for him to sneak in the door around midnight. That’s not counting the practices, the scouting, and all the other extras I’m not remembering. I joke that I’m a single mom during this time of year. But I’m actually serious too because that’s what it feels like. I’m solely responsible for our kids during this time.

And I’m not complaining. There are some moms out there who rock being a single mom full time. You definitely don’t get enough kudos for what you do. But I am trying to paint a picture of what daily life looks like for us right now. I’m sure many of you can commiserate.

So, on top of both my husband and I working full time, and him working another full time job as a head high school baseball coach, I’m trying to shuttle my daughter to her own games and practices, keep up with my house, bills, budgeting, meal planning, grocery trips, remembering to water my flowers I spent too much on earlier in the month, trying not to reward myself with blizzards from Dairy Queen, and maybe, maybe find a night to exercise. Or in my dream world, binge watch something on Netflix while eating a blizzard.

One thing I do know is learning to utilize my crock pot has been a game changer for me. If I can just get up five minutes earlier in the morning, I can come home to a delicious home cooked meal with very minimal effort. It is such a life time saver.

Continue Reading