Get Your Sh*t Together: How to get it all done

how to get it all done, how to do it all, how to be efficient, efficiency tips, working mom tips, time management, meal planning, meal prep, time management

Have you ever wondered how to “get it all done”?  Or if “getting it all done” was even possible? I work full-time, I’m a wife and mommy to two very active little boys, and I’m building this blog into a full-time gig. There is never enough time for all the things I want to, but I have had a lot of people ask how I manage to handle everything that I do accomplish on the daily.

The thing is, I didn’t always get everything done. I used to be extremely disorganized, hardcore procrastinator, and okay with just surviving my days. I thought being late or disorganized or constantly behind was fine (even normal) because I was working and had a baby, but I realized the legacy I was teaching my son was just to survive. I decided just surviving wasn’t going to be one of the life lessons I wanted to leave my son, and I could actually accomplish so much more with my life if I just applied a small amount of diligence. Discipline and reaching goals are definitely traits I want to teach!

With a little big of planning, I’ve figured out how to actually put the tedious parts of life on autopilot to create space for the best moments. I call this weekly practice my  “Get Your Sh*t Together” (or GYST day), and it’s become my favorite day of the week!

I realized that the things that took up the most time in my week were small, mundane events I had been avoiding or didn’t plan ahead for during the week. Since Monday is a new work week, Sunday seemed like the best time to GYST.

Between my family, my work, and building this blog, a lot of my time and energy is focused on big things. I tend to procrastinate the shorter tasks during the week (like paying bills, renewing library books, etc). I know they are important and only take a tiny amount of time, but for whatever reason I’m just not as likely to take the time to do them during the week.

Basic Food Prep

My GYST days start with food, because of course it does. I loooooooove food! And coffee. But you already knew that.

We usually do our grocery shopping on Saturdays, so I start off Sundays with a fully stocked kitchen. I go through all the groceries and create a basic (flexible) meal plan and start to prep some breakfast foods. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I like to have plenty of options ready for me to create a big meal quickly. Typically, my breakfast involves my coffee, a smoothie, and some sort of baked goods. On Sundays I like to do all my baking for the week, so I’ll usually make at least one batch of muffins or breakfast bread (usually either pumpkin or banana, depending on what I have on hand). Once the batter goes in the oven, I clean up the kitchen and will either start a batch of brown rice or throw a few chicken breasts in the Instant Pot.

Need some help with meal prep? Download my free ebook, Meal Planning for Busy People!

The Necessary Computer Work

With the food going in the kitchen and the kitchen cleaned up, I’ll sit down and pay the bills. This only takes a few minutes and takes a huge load off my shoulders. It’s amazing how important financial fitness is to mental health!

Since I’m sitting already, now is the time I pull out my planner and look over the week. Any appointments, social events, and deadlines are reviewed and planned for appropriately. I have a running list of blog topics and networking opportunities going on a page in my planner, and I review those and map out the following week. January was all messed up with illnesses, but thankfully we are getting back on track in February and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s safe to say I love routine and I thrive on checking off my to-do lists!

I also take this time to do any necessary paperwork, or prepare mail to be sent. Any important documents, handwritten notes to friends, or blogging paperwork is prepped and ready to be taken to be sent on Monday.

Self Care

After all of this is done, it’s time for some self care. When I was single, Sunday used to be my home spa days. Now with two little boys creating chaos over here, usually the best I can do is maybe a bentonite clay mask and filing my nails. If I get really lucky, sometimes I can get my nails painted, but I only risk that if both boys take a nap at the same time. Whatever I do, it’s important that I set aside at least 5 minutes for something just for me. I’ve noticed a direct relationship between how I feel about myself and how I react to stressful situations or interact with my little family. If I feel gross and run-down, I’m not as patient or giving as when I have taken a minute to prepare myself mentally and put myself together.

The best part about GYST days is that they are relaxing while being incredibly productive. The idea is not to start the week in a stressful way with a long list of to-do items, but to calmly prepare for a good week by taking care of a few key things before they have a chance to become problems.

Obviously, the decision of what to include in your GYST day is completely up to you, but I would recommend at least some basic meal preparation and something for self-care. This sets up your week for success immediately.

The benefits of a GYST day are exponentially increased when you are intentional about each day. Creating a functional morning routine and an evening routine gives you even more success and space throughout your days to reach whatever goals you are working towards, and will absolutely skyrocket your productivity (and keep you sane through it all)!

Do you have a weekly routine that helps you? Leave me a comment!

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Why You Need an Evening Routine: The Cure for the Mombie Effect

If you're a tired and busy mom, you NEED this top tip to accomplish your goals without losing your mind!

“Mombie” – a sleep-deprived mom who is barely held together by coffee and yoga pants (or, since I ditched my yoga pants, skinny jeans). 

The other morning, I woke up super late. I hadn’t completed my evening routine the night before, so I (somewhat frantically) rushed through my evening and morning routines and was feeling super proud of myself until I got to work and realized I left my coffee on the counter.

Mornings happen. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, things just go wrong. That’s okay (well, unless you leave your coffee at home, in which case – cry away, my friend)!

Your morning, no matter what time you actually get out of bed, is determined by how you set yourself up the night before.

Easy Evening Routine Ideas

You can give yourself a huge step up each day by completing a few simple tasks the night before:

  • Do the dishes. Waking up to a clean kitchen is instantly energizing.
  • Fill the kettle with water so it’s ready to go first thing in the morning, or get the coffee maker ready to go so you just have to press the on button.
  • Pick out an outfit for the next day. Even jewelry if you’re really feeling crazy.
  • Make sure you have a plan for breakfast the next morning. Through trial and error, we have discovered that homemade muffins are what works the best for us.
  • Pack a healthy lunch (and don’t forget snacks!)

When I consistently complete my evening routines, I free up space in my mornings for extra time with Peter and Tristan, or extra sleeping time if we need it. And since I’m not rushing around, I remember my coffee. Mombie cured.

Are Routines Necessary?

Routines are so key to accomplishing goals. Routines put simple tasks on autopilot for you, so you can create the space to do whatever it is you really want to do.

Want more time with the kids, but feel constantly behind on life? You need a morning and evening routine to make sure you get the most important things taken care of first!

Are you needing to save money but spend too much going out to eat? You need a meal prep routine! (and you also need to download my Meal Planning for Busy People free guide!)

Create Space in Your Days

Routines remove that “what should I be doing next?” fear and instead create space by creating order. For instance, my mornings are much calmer and I am able to accomplish more (like writing this blog post) when I’ve cleaned the kitchen the night before. Because the kitchen task is already taken care of thanks to my evening routine, I have space in my morning to move forward with my blogging goals. Ta-da!

Related: Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Get it All Done

Most of these realizations and habits came when I blogged through MoneySavingMom’s Makeover Your Mornings 14-day course late last year. I’m so excited for the release of her follow-up challenge, Makeover Your Evenings, which goes live tomorrow! I got an early release copy and have been looking through it. I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this course is and how many big things will be happening because of it.

Ready to make over your evenings with me? Sign up here, then leave me a comment to let me know!`


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Declutter your closet, declutter your life

how to declutter closets, declutter clothes, capsule wardrobe, yoga pants, mom fashion, fashion on a budget

I did the unthinkable this week: I threw away my yoga pants.

Now that Tristan is a little older and can actually survive not being held for a minute or two, I’ve been going through a “mommy makeover,” making self-care a priority. I’ve gotten contacts, new jeans that actually fit me, and culled every article of clothing that doesn’t encourage a positive mindset – and that included my laziness-inducing yoga pants.

If you saw my Instagram, I even placed a large essential oils order with some self-care essentials: fancy soap and shampoo, the most incredible skin care set you have ever used in your life, vanilla protein powder, and a blend called whisper, which I use as perfume.

It’s been so delightful to use quality products that are good for me and make me feel pretty again.  And I’ve started wearing mascara and earrings on the regular.

So basically I feel like I’m 14 and excited to look like a grown up.

Anyway, as part of the mommy makeover, I’ve been focusing on paring down my wardrobe. I have entirely too many clothes that together create entirely too few outfits and, like my hair, the ends needed to be trimmed. Since we are moving on Saturday this has suddenly become even more important!

I followed Crystal Paine’s 500 things decluttering challenge and was inspired! A quick tour of the closet/dresser revealed 15 things that were removed and either repurposed into rags or sent to ThredUp, an incredible online shift store, via their super convenient clean out program.

I love the idea of a French capsule wardrobe where everything goes together no matter how you choose to wear it. I tend to be attracted to solid colors in bold neutrals and simple jewelry. This knowledge helps me when choosing new clothes. I keep patterns to a minimum and prefer textural differences instead. It might be boring, but it’s simple and I do not like being fussy about clothes. I like to look nice and put-together but trendy is not a term most people would use to describe my style.

There are 3 big benefits to this kind of style and minimalistic strategy:

  1. Less laundry. We do laundry in a portable washing machine that we hook up to the kitchen sink every time we use it (but not for long! Our new house has hookups!!!). Then our clothes are air-dried on racks and hangers. Less clothes mean less laundry, which is very nice. We already feel like we do laundry all the time between our clothes and cloth diapers! (Related: How to do Laundry without Hookups)
  2. I actually know what I have. Have you ever pulled something out of your closet that you had forgotten existed? I have. Now that I have a smaller wardrobe consisting mostly of my favorite pieces, this doesn’t happen. And I like what I wear!
  3. Everything goes together. Call me boring, but I like that I can basically reach in and grab a shirt and a pair of pants and know that it will go together. It really cuts down on my getting ready time in the morning.

Ive tried to be trendy. I really have. But I always end up feeling like I’m trying to be someone I’m not and it takes too long to decide how things work together. I much prefer this route of simple pieces working together for a classic look. I always did favor Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn anyway.

Do you have a system for keeping control of your closets?

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How to Create a Rockstar Morning Routine

how to create a rockstar morning routine, how to get more done in the morning, productivity tips,

When I was a baby I rarely went to sleep before 11:30pm. I’ve always said I was naturally a night owl, and when I was a teenager you could usually find me wide awake at 2am. This was helpful when I became a nurse and worked night shift, but after I left the hospital environment I was still very much a night owl who hated mornings.

This only got worse as I got older and became a wife and mom, but recently something changed in me and I’ve been able to take control of my life and find the freedom that comes with taking advantage of the still of the morning.

Here’s a peek at my “new” life:

– I rarely go to bed with a dirty kitchen. This allows me to wake up feeling like I’ve already won the day, and not like I’m already behind on something.

– I have found the time to blog! Writing has always been a passion of mine but as a new wife and new mom I was having trouble making it a priority. Now that I wake up at 6am and usually I can get some blog work done while the house is quiet.

– did you get that last part? I wake up at 6am! This night owl has reformed, my friends.

– I have a bedtime routine that involves picking up whatever Tristan has lovingly reorganized around the house, settling him down for bed, getting all my work things together and mentally picking out my outfit for the next day.

I went from being frazzled, disorganized, and chronically late in the mornings to now I am calm, organized, and on time. I wake up happy, and even if I don’t want to be awake I am usually energized after just a few minutes. Even Peter has commented and asked how I can be alert and joyful before my coffee now? Ahem. Miracles happen.

All these changes are a result of committing to the 14-day Makeover Your Mornings course. Full of practical suggestions and loving encouragement, Crystal Paine’s course requires 15 minutes of your time for just 14 days. I love going through the workbook and changing things as I need to, based on the needs of my family. This morning routine works for us and I’m so excited to be getting so much more accomplished each day!

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How to Set Goals You Will Actually Want to Accomplish: 2016

setting goals to live a better life

I can’t believe it’s almost 2016! As much as I am so not a winter girl, I do love the end of the year because it’s time to set goals again. Being married at this time is even more fun because I get to set new goals with Peter and we can achieve them together!

How to make goals you will actually accomplish in 2016

Everyone posts “how to set goals that actually work” posts around this time. But rarely do I see posts about setting goals that not only may be necessary, but also goals that excite you. That motivate you to get out of bed each day.

Don’t forget to set a reward!

For instance, we want to go to London to see Arsenal play at the Emirates stadium and visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (with the actual movie sets!). But before we even start saving for that, we have a financial goal we want to hit first. So all the scrimping and saving we do this year will help us get to Harry Potter faster! That’s plenty of incentive for me!

how to write goals for 2016

Here are some of our goals:


– by December 31, have a certain amount saved. We are starting the year with about 41% of this goal saved.  Each month I will post our progress!

– pay off all student loans (this will make us debt free!)


– Peter to start learning a martial art

– Peter to finish his degree

– Amanda to get a workout routine down

– Tristan will continue being awesome


– take at least 3 small weekend trips as a family

– gradually transition to an 80% organic diet (made possible by buying our nonperishables online using swagbucks gift cards!) Each month I will post our progress with earning swagbucks and how much we were able to purchase.


-find 4 blogs to feature a guest post

– publish 4 articles

– continue to study blogging, Pinterest, and periscope

– conquer my fear of periscope and actually start scoping

What are you going to accomplish in 2016?

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