Woman running...just like busy moms run all the time. Let's prioritize!

3 Mom-Approved Ways to Prioritize

“Prioritize!” It’s one of those hot button phrases out there, whether you’re a busy mom or a busy business person. Speaking as a mom, I also know that it can be tough to prioritize a to-do list when all of it is necessary for one reason or another. In the end, though, prioritizing is a form of self care. It keeps you calm and confident. That’s why today I offer you 3 mom-approved ways to prioritize, used by myself and other mothers.

Method 1: The Urgent vs. Important Grid

This is my favorite tool that I’ve come across that helps prioritize. I use it at work and home. I don’t even know if it has an official title, but it looks like the below picture. As you can see, the most urgent, most important to-dos go in the upper left box. Next are the top right and bottom left (not urgent but important) and (less important but urgent). These get done after your most urgent/most important stuff is done. The bottom right is for everything else…stuff that would be nice to get to. I often find myself chipping away at that one when I only have a minute or two and can’t get into a bigger project.

The beauty of this is that it 1) forces you to define what is urgent and what is important, and 2) it captures everything in your brain so that you’re not doing a mental juggling act all the time. It really makes it easy to decide what to do next. Pro tip: use a post-it note inside each quadrant so that you can fill it up and replace it instead of re-drawing the grid each time it fills up.

Remember to throw self care activities in the mix!

Method 2: Ask 3 Key Questions

In this short video, Dr. Kate Northrup discusses the three questions that help her prioritize. She shares examples from her own life. Importantly, the stuff she keeps on her “to do list” become part of a weekly to-do list. Such a great concept because the reality is that life throws curve balls all the time, so take the pressure off of a daily list and make a weekly one! 

The questions that Dr. Northrup uses to prioritize are:

-Does this need to be done?

-Does this need to be done by me?

-Does this need to be done right now? 

I’ve already taken a page from her book this week and started asking myself, “does this need to be done by me?” Without even thinking about it, I tend to add stuff to my own to-do list without taking into account that my husband is probably up for helping if I just ask. Those birthday party invitations for our soon-to-be 2 year old are about to become a joint project!

Method 3: Order Your Life Priorities

The last of the 3 mom-approved ways to prioritize involves writing down your life priorities in order of importance. Then, as possible activities present themselves, say yes or no based on how well they accomplish your priorities. The Confident Mom has a post that gives an example of how one mom used this approach in her busy life so that she says yes to only what’s most important. Surprisingly, this mom ranked her kids #4, but if you look at her higher priorities (God, Husband, Home) you see that all of it combines to create a loving home for her kids.

The lesson here? You can prioritize areas of your life and you have every right to order them how you please. You’re the best mom your kids could have and everyone who loves you knows it. <3

Wolah! There you have it: 3 mom-approved ways to prioritize, offered by mothers who want the very best for your happy home and life. Sending all life’s brightest blessings to you this week. May you find yourself reveling in small moments that are only yours to cherish. Life is good. 

***If you found any of these ideas useful, be sure to share the blog link on Facebook and other social media. Sharing is caring!

Woman hiking on mountain. Live with no regrets.

The No. 1 Question to Make Sure You Live with No Regrets

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know that I’m all about helping you to shrink the time it takes to do housework and general life routines. My goal is to help you enjoy your beautiful life to its fullest. But I also think it’s important to keep the big picture in mind. Do you prioritize the things that will fill your heart? The things you’ll remember? I know it can be easy to forget this in the business of mom life. So today I offer you a key question that will help you live with no regrets. 

The No. 1 Question Is….

“Will I regret missing this?”

That’s it. Simple question. Pivotal answer. 

This message keeps crossing my path, and I’m grateful for it.

Flashback: I’m 18 years old and listening to a speech during Freshman orientation. Obviously I’m very cool because I now have a dorm room and a roommate and my parents are in another state. The speaker says: “You’ll never remember the time you spent studying. You’ll never wish you studied more.” He was speaking to a room full of high achievers. Many were about to disappear into books for four years. We would occasionally spot them at the late-night coffee shop in the library basement or on a quick run for the Walla Walla-famous taco truck. Because of that speech, I spent my college years asking, “Will I regret missing this?” If the answer was yes, I opted for the adventure over studying. Those were good times. 🙂

Flash forward 14 years: I’m now a mom and there is no orientation for a thing like this. The dorm is now a house, the roommate a husband. Obviously I’m less cool but also more real and solid in myself. Half my brain is devoted to a tiny human at all times, and some days the to-do list goes on and on. But there is a world full of voices that sing the same song as that speaker. The ones that say, “live with no regrets. Remember your beautiful life.” These are good times.

One of these voices appeared in a great article on NBC News about the mental load of motherhood. One woman shared: “I always thought forward and asked myself the question, “Will I feel bad if I miss this [family event]?” If the answer was yes, I didn’t go. No one will remember the business meetings I missed, but my family will remember the precious moments I was there for! That no-regret policy became my North Star.” 

You can have fun AND keep your clean-house standards

Now, let me be clear that prioritizing memory-making over a spotless house isn’t about lowering your standards. “Lowering your standards” is darn hard to do and it doesn’t make anyone feel good! I believe there are ways to keep your standards while having as much fun as possible.

You can check out these 33 Ways to Spark More Free Time for some easy-to-implement ideas. Another recommended post is 3 Magical Time Saving Techniques, which will help you nail down the exact things that waste time in your unique home and life (the stuff that no one can figure out for you). All told, if you can shrink the time it takes to get the less-fun stuff done, you amplify play time. 

There’s always the nose scrunch…

I do sometimes wish that I could do that famous nose wiggle from I Dream of Jeannie. Cute little nose scrunch and BAM! The house is clean. If I ever figure it out, I promise I’ll share! In the meantime, give yourself a big “Hell yeah” for all that you do accomplish. You are strong and brave and creative. A force to be reckoned with! And because you deserve the very best life has to offer, I hope you look toward these next days and weeks with an eye toward what will be most fun. May you live with no regrets. The dishes will be there when you’re good and ready.  

***Brag time! Tell me about a time when you chose fun and family over the work calling at you. What memory did you make? I’d love to hear, so be sure to share a comment. Go mama!

Have it your way: 33 ideas to spark more free time

Recently, I had the privilege of getting to know the mother of a dear friend. We talked about the trials and stresses of new home ownership and tight finances when you’re starting out in family life. For instance, when she was a new mother (with four children) and they moved into their home, she said it was 100 small things that got them through, like the move from brand name Cheerios to knock off bags of cereal. Finding ways to free more time in your schedule is like that, too. To jump start your own path of 100 small things, today I offer you 33 ideas to spark more free time. 

33 Ideas to Spark More Free Time

  1. Mix your favorite go-to spices (cinnamon and sugar counts!)
  2. Use Youtube to learn how to slice weird shaped fruit or veggies
  3. Download an app so you can capture your mental to-do list on the fly
  4. Put your keys in the right hand pocket every time
  5. Use Amazon auto-ship for toiletries that you buy every month (works for diapers, too!)
  6. Create a family habit of 10-minute cleanup before the bedtime routine starts
  7. Have multiple laundry baskets so that you can sort clothes as you take them off
  8. Make your kids and spouse responsible for packing their own lunches
  9. Set out your outfits for the entire week (no more rushing around to find the right shirt!)
  10. Put only the utensils you most often use in your kitchen utensil drawer
  11. Use see-through food storage containers so your food doesn’t go to waste
  12. Set your email account to automatically file e-receipts in a separate folder
  13. Get yourself on the federal do-not-mail (or call) lists
  14. When you’re online shopping, commit to purchasing from a company you trust and avoid wasting time on bargain hunting
  15. Unsubscribe from listservs whose emails you never open
  16. Use your lunch break to squeeze in a workout or a trip to the gas station
  17. Elbows up! Learn to gracefully say “no” to activities you would rather not do
  18. Plan for activities you *do* want to do, so that they are sure to happen
  19. Ask yourself, “does this serve me?” when you’re doing something that’s not productive. (Sometimes the answer is yes, in which case you should absolutely continue!)
  20. Set a timer for things you know could accidentally make you lose track of time, like online shopping, Facebook, or reading a book.
  21. Chop extra veggies while you’re in the kitchen and freeze what you don’t use
  22. Batch cook
  23. Don’t set a snooze alarm (you won’t hit snooze too many times, plus you’ll sleep longer)
  24. Stack your folded laundry in a way that lets you see everything, so you’re not digging for what you want.
  25. Give away jewelry you don’t use anymore
  26. Organize your grocery list by section of the store
  27. Set boundaries with what your little ones play with…you should not have to search for things that you actually need.
  28. Get your spouse and kids on board with choosing a home for things that sort of float around (in our house, it’s the salt shaker).
  29. Keep a just-in-case bag that lives in the car (water, diapers, extra clothes, snacks, toys, sunscreen, lotion and earrings for you…). It’s your backup to the bag that goes with you everywhere.
  30. Create a routine that helps you see where your time-saving gaps are. For us, setting 6:00 as dinner time set off a whole chain reaction of choices that help us get to 6:00 without stress. 
  31. Set up auto bill pay for as many things as you can.
  32. Use mini-gaps between activities to start a piece of housework
  33. Throw a pillowcase in with the laundry loads, so you have a backup “basket” to stuff clothes in if the actual basket wanders off.

Commit to Actively Looking for Time Saving Moments

Saving time is a journey that will never end, because our lives constantly change. The kids get older, we get new jobs, sports come and go, we try new hobbies… Along the way, you’ll figure out some time saving tricks that you keep around, but there are others that will only be discovered when life calls you to new rhythms and routines. 

Your challenge is to commit to actively looking for those 100 small things you can do to save time. You’ll know you are successful because suddenly you have 10 minutes to read a book, or you’re playing with your kids before dinner when there used to be no time. Maybe you’re getting a little more sleep. Maybe you finish the dishes and look around and think, “Now what do I do?” (Yes, this can be you!)

Whatever it is that you long for, its 100 small choices that save time that will get you there. Plus, you’ve got a head start with these 33 ideas to spark more free time. Get going, mama bear! I believe in you. 


***How about you? What are the small things you do that save a tiny bit of time? Please share in the comments! You never know who you might be helping out. May our loving energy inspire and cheer each other on. Go mama!

Woman in striped dress walking down beach path

Clear out your closet for new dreams, more time, & self care

The funny thing about letting go of stuff is that you give a gift to yourself. Not only does the absence of something unwanted feel like a relief, but you create space for life to draw in more of what you do want. It’s a physical and spiritual act, this letting go. In the dance of motherhood, and career, and heart, and life, the spiritual side of me needs to be heard and honored more than ever. So this month, as the snow starts to fall in Milwaukee and as light dims earlier each day, I have decided to clear out my closet. It’s a deliberate act of making space for new dreams, and one of self care. The icing on the cake is that it will put more time in the day.   

Use your Closet to Make Space for New Dreams

Recently, I listened to a podcast by Ingrid Fetell Lee where her interviewee shared a story about clearing out unwanted clothes from her closet and not only did they she feel like she had more to wear, but she suddenly felt free enough to quit their job and try something new. That story totally resonates with me. There’s something freeing about removing the physical proof of our past – who we were and what was working for us then – in order to move into a space of who we are now and who we want to be. 

Who is it you want to be? This slice of life has caused new dreams to form in you. So why not send your signal into the universe (and to yourself) that you’re ready for them. Clean out that closet…then the dresser…then the forgotten boxes in the basement. Finally, release whatever else that’s filling your space and making you feel stuck. You are so free, if only you allow yourself to see it

Use Your Closet to Boost Self Care

You are a beautiful human being, you know that? Every inch of you. And getting dressed should be a fun way of celebrating yourself on the daily. However, if you’re like me, you have clothes you keep around because they’re functional, not because they make you feel beautiful or brighten the day. We all do it –  we keep things that look nice, but they show too much cleavage or don’t fit quite right or we convinced ourselves in the store that we can make it work, but never got around to actually making it work. Sometimes we keep stuff because a relative bought it. There are clothes kept for reasons we’ve long forgotten. 

Now imagine – how would it feel to have and wear only clothes that fit right and feel good? How would it feel to spend less time worrying about or adjusting what you’re wearing? Pretty good, right?!?

You deserve the kind of self care that comes without having to think about it. You deserve to wake up to a closet of only outfit options that you are excited to wear. 

Clear out your closet to save time

If drawing in new dreams and self care aren’t enough of a reason to clear out your closet, then perhaps this info will seal the deal: when you make repetitive motion by choosing or finding clothes, you are wasting your time. Think about it – how much time do you spend when you search through a drawer for a shirt two or three times before finding it? How much time do you spend just deciding what to wear? 

In the end, clothes can create a waste of time that really adds up. We blow by the fact that the problem could be fixed in the rush of getting ready to leave the house. And because it’s not addressed, it comes up day after day after day. You’re losing minutes without even realizing it.  I’m tellin’ ya – solving this problem will make mornings run a little faster.

Action Challenge

This month, I invite you to join me in a very loving and intentional act of letting go of clothes that no longer serve us. To help, Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up recommends that you:

  • Thank your “get rid of” clothes out loud. Thanking is a way to honor how they served you and send them on their journey with gratitude. 
  • Get rid of anything you keep out of a sense of obligation, functionality, or guilt. You have permission.
  • Keep what sparks joy (I love this one!)

I also came across this Apartment Therapy blog post by Arlyn Hernandez, which has a quick-hits list of stuff to toss like those shoes that always hurt, old bridesmaid dresses, and things that you kept last time you cleaned out your closet but haven’t worn.

I hope you enjoy yourself as you clear out your closet to make space for new dreams, more time, and self care. Turn on some tunes. Sip some wine. Enjoy the memories your clothes bring up, even as you thank them and say “yes!” to whatever’s ahead. 


***I’m curious, what dream are you ready to draw into your life? Let me know in the comments! May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, thanks for being you. go mama!

Silly photo of a dead potato - could've saved it with these food tips!

Your fridge is a time-sucking black hole (& what to do about it)

How many times a month do you find yourself throwing out food past its prime? It’s embarrassing, but I’ll admit that my family tosses food weekly, and there’s usually a monthly deep dive into the fridge for lost and forgotten food gone bad. It’s like a time-sucking black hole for food that we shopped for, cooked, packaged away…and then let spoil. For me, the worst part is the time spent cleaning up and feeling guilty about all the wasted food. If only there were easy ways to avoid this waste, right? As it turns out, the interwebs have a lot to say on the subject! This post is full of suggestions that will help our fridges no longer feel like a time-sucking black hole.

Six ways to keep food out of the trash

Be creative before tossing. Stale bread can be croutons or breadcrumbs. Freeze veggies for before they’ve gone completely bad – they’re perfect for soup or stew. This Huffpost article has some other suggestions on this front.

Make sure fridge temp is correct. Fridges that are too warm or too cold can cause food to go bad, and might also be a safety hazard. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the refrigerator temperature should be kept at or below 40° F (4° C). The freezer temperature should be 0° F (-18° C).

Invest in some produce saver sheets. Amazon has a bunch of options, like these FreshPapers. Throw these in the fridge drawer with your fruits and veggies to prolong their freshness. The reviews speak for themselves.

Store food in a way that’s easy to see, or at least labeled. Try to use clear containers to store food, so you have a constant visual reminder that it needs eating when you open your fridge. And if it’s not in a clear container, label the container with its contents and the date cooked.  

Shop for only what you need. This National Geographic article talks about how we shop with this psychological need to store and save, which means we buy more than we need. Queue the dark music for food gone bad (and time wasted cooking it!). Over the next couple weeks, spend some time noticing how much your family eats compared to how much you buy. Watch how much of your leftovers go to the fridge when perhaps they’d be better preserved in the freezer. And if you want that mental security of knowing there’s reserve food, stock your pantry with dry goods. 

Think of your freezer as short-term storage. Laura Moreno, a food waste expert featured in the above National Geographic article, suggests using the freezer as short-term storage. Those frozen leftovers can be a big time saver during a busy week. They are also just one stop away from the trash can if they develop freezer burn, which is extra incentive for using them within a couple weeks (which is probably the window you’ve got before forgetting they exist). 

Our turn – no more time-sucking black hole fridges

Over the next month or so, I’m going to start implementing these tips in my fridge and kitchen. I don’t want a time-sucking black hole fridge lurking in my kitchen. I want everything we cook to go into our bellies. I hope you’ll join me in this effort, for the sake of your own time and tasty cooking! 

***Find any of these ideas useful? If you’re thinking, “Oh yeah, this could definitely help in my kitchen” – please share this post on Facebook or other social media. This is a growing community and every share makes a difference! With gratitude, -Ashley

Woman who knows where her car keys are and gets places on time

How to be the mom that gets places on time

Do you ever feel like there are some moms who manage to juggle it all and still be on time, but that’s just not in the cards for you? Oh hey – nice to meet you! We’re in the same boat… but this boat’s headed for smoother waters. It’s completely possible to chip away at those things that keep you from being on time. Over the past six months, I’ve turned myself into someone that arrives on time. It feels strange, and awesome. Stick around – I’m going to show you how to be the mom that gets places on time.

The obvious things (that perhaps you haven’t committed to routine yet)

First, let’s acknowledge that there is a general routine in the chaos of getting out the door. And in that routine, there are many small things that can go sideways. You might have a different reason you’re late every day of the week! This is totally normal, and something you can fix. It won’t happen overnight, but as you chip away at time-saving for each piece of your get-out-the-door routine, you’ll find that it gets easier and easier. Suddenly, the random things that pop up no longer become the reason you’re late – you’ve made space for them. 

So, here are some activities and I challenge you to pick one that you can implement right away! Success creates momentum, so go for it! 

Options:

-Set clothes out the night before (and your kids’, or have them do it themselves if old enough)

-Have lunches prepped the night before and stacked together in the fridge

-Have breakfasts pre-made, ready to go in seconds or minutes

-Resist the urge to hit snooze

-Have cute, back-pocket hairstyles that you can throw together in minutes (youtube is awesome for inspiration!)

Let’s take it one step further

Ok, so let’s say you’ve done those things and they’re helping a lot, but you’re still struggling with how to be a mom that gets places on time. This is the point when you have to put in a little more work to figure out exactly why the problem is happening. As I explain in more detail in a recent post, there are pain points in any process (like getting out the door), that have causes that aren’t immediately obvious. Your job is to do the work of figuring out why. Check out the post when you have a sec – it’s a goldmine. 

The gist is that you have to ask “why” in response to a problem until you really understand why it’s happening. 

Where the heck did my keys go? (again!?!!)

Here’s an example from my own life: two to three times a day, I waste time looking for my keys. Honestly, most mornings I could be out the door two minutes sooner if I only knew exactly where my keys were. 

I bet you’ve got something similar. Maybe it’s your glasses. Or your hairbrush. Or your toddler’s second shoe. THOSE are the timewasters that we need to pay attention to. I promise, you will give yourself so much freedom if you start to notice them and chip away at them. 

As you read this, keep in mind that the solution I arrive at it is unique to me. If you have can’t-find-the-damn-key issues, I recommend you follow a similar process to discover what’s at the heart of the issue for you! 

Problem: I waste minutes, multiple times a day, looking for my keys in my purse.

Why? Because I don’t always put them in the same part of my purse. 

Why: There’s lots of pockets. 

Why? Because there’s no easy place to hook them. They just fall into whatever part is open and get buried. 

AHA! That’s the root problem. There is no obvious home for them. 

Your turn: become the mom that gets places on time

Ok, so I’ve found the root cause of my problem. There’s no obvious home for my keys. Now that I’ve figured this out, I can create a real solution  – I’m going to attach a butterfly clip to my key ring, so that I can always hook my keys to the same place in my purse. I’ll try it out for a while and if I find there’s still some annoyance, then I’ll take another crack at root causes.

Above all, remember that we’re after progress, not perfection. On time or not, you’ve got this mom thing covered and you’re doing a phenomenal job. Smarties like you and I? We keep the ball rolling. 

***I’m curious – what time-waster did you decide to address during this exercise? Tell me what it is and what your solution will be. I’m eager to know how you plan to become the mom that gets places on time! And don’t forget that your response in the comments may inspire someone else. May our lovin’ energy lift each other up. go mama! 

Pro Tips to Turbocharge Dinner

What do you love most about your evenings? If you’ve had a day at the office, are you getting some sweet time with your kiddos and/or getting dinner on the table? If you’re a stay at home mama, do you get a much needed break? Whatever your situation, I bet you are the heroine who gets at least half the dinner meals on the table each week. I bet you’d also love some pro tips to turbocharge dinner.

I enjoy cookin’ dinner. After working at a computer all day, it feels so good to feast my eyes on colorful vegetables and immerse my hands in interesting textures as I chop, rinse, and stir. But I’ll tell ya one thing – I do not love how long it takes to cook! Love doing it, but wish it could go faster. 

For today’s blog, I’ve done some scouring of the internet to bring you pro tips to turbocharge dinner. In other words – it’s time cooking dinner went faster! I’ll share a few of their ideas here and also give you links to the full articles. You should also check out this earlier post with 5 essential time saving tips for your kitchen.

Straight from the pros: turbocharge dinner

Sarah Crow at Eat This, Not That! recommends that we: 

  • Use “mise en place,” which is a french term that means “to put in place.” In other words, get everything ready, chopped, and prepped before you start cooking. Your meal will turn out better and feel less chaotic as it’s prepared.
  • Get some kitchen shears to make cutting faster
  • Make one-pan meals that roast meat and veggies together

In a bon appetite article with a sweetly playful voice, Christina Chaey suggests we:

  • Stock up on ingredients that feel fancy, but are super easy to cook. Ground lamb, anyone?
  • Consider the freezer our best friends. Use it for leftovers, for extra bags of tomato sauce, for extra bags of pre-prepped fresh herbs, for pre-sliced fancy bread that you can throw in the toaster. You get the idea. 
  • Cook grains in extra-large batches. The leftovers will inspire other meals during the week, and the grain part’s already done!

Taylor Isaac at CookSmarts has our backs with an article that talks about saving kitchen time on the cooking and cleaning side:

  • Keep a trash bowl or trash can near you. We waste precious time going back and forth to a trash can!
  • Prep dry ingredients first. This lets you re-use your measuring cups and spoons without washing in-between. 
  • Batch prepping = batch cleanup. (Notice a batch theme across these authors?!)  Batching makes meals big enough for leftovers, and means you’ll have less dishes to wash on those leftover nights. 

Let’s do this!!!

Well, there you have it! Straight from experts who have shortened their cooking time. I’m going to be intentional about employing some of these points in my own home, especially the “mise en place,” – aka prepping before starting to cook. We’ll see how it goes!

***I’m curious, what are your go-to tricks for making dinner quickly? What’s your turbocharge dinner secret? Make sure to write it in the comment box! Give this go mama community some inspiration – after all, we could all use a little more time in our lives! go mama!

5 Essential Time-Saving Tips for Your Kitchen

You know those annoying activities that waste your time but keep happening? A few seconds here, a few there…over and over… it adds up. Ready for a few easy tips?

Today’s five tips are for the kitchen:

  1. What state is your Tupperware drawer in? Think about how much time you spend trying to find the right lid to go with your Tupperware or glassware. Annoying, right? 

-Consider how much Tupperware or glassware you really need and then pare down.

-Gave your lids a home based on shape. I use small baskets- one for circles, one for squares. It works wonders.

-Don’t let Tupperware that needs to be returned to someone land in your drawer. It’s just one more thing to fish around each time you’re in there.

2. Do you have a hell drawer for utensils? It used to take me forever to find the right measuring spoon in my own kitchen hell drawer.

-Give those items that are used once or twice a year a separate home. (I’m lookin’ at you, turkey baster).

-Get rid of things that seemed like a good idea when you got them. Nice then, wasted space now.

-Try to place similar-sized things together. Marie Kondo would even recommend using cardboard boxes to compartmentalize things by size inside the drawer. Can’t say I’ve got as far as the boxes, but it’s a great idea. 

3. Next time a pot scorches, try boiling an inch of water, a dash of dish soap, and 2 Tbsp of baking soda before you start scrubbing. Should come right off. 

4. Keep trash liners at the bottom of your trash can, so they’re right there as soon as you take the dirty trash bag out. A little trick I learned working at a summer camp – works just as well at home!

5. Do you spend time stacking and  restacking things in your pantry, just so it all fits? Or just to remind yourself what’s there? Next time you find yourself doing this: 

-Get rid of (i.e. donate) anything older than 3ish months.

-Set a goal to only buy perishable food for a certain amount of time, during which you will make meals that will use up the non-perishables in your pantry. 

Bonus Tip:

When it comes to food, buy only what you need. I know this is easier said than done, but you can do it.

And remember – one thing at a time!

Remember to take a breath as you think about all the things you could do to make your kitchen waste less of your time. Lists are only a tool. You are capable and amazing and a great mom. You’ll chip at this one thing at a time. You’ll be saving time before you know it.

****I’m curious, what do you do in your kitchen to save time? Reply in the comments below. May our ideas inspire each other to save some precious time! Go mama!

These inbox habits will make you the boss of your time

Email – can’t live without it, but living with it? My sister-in-law laughed at me recently when I told her I try to keep my unread personal emails below 1,000. It hadn’t occurred to me until then how crazy that is – but it’s just so hard keeping up!

Fellow closet-email-hoarders, this is your sign! You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction. Email wastes more time than most people realize, and it’s totally hidden.

Time is wasted every time you read an unread heading that you’ve read before. Think about it:

2 seconds to read a heading….

That you read 10 more times that day

….and the next day…

for 3 weeks….

…until you finally open it and deal with it.

That’s 2 seconds x 10 reads x 21 days = 420 seconds = 7 minutes. Seven minutes spent reading the same thing 210 times!

If you’re like me and have more than 1 email like this – the lost minutes really start to pile up. Ten emails passed over at this rate means you’ve lost 1 hour and 10 minutes (over 21 days).

What do you wish you could do with that hour?!!


You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction.

-Ashley Fisher, gomama.love blogger

I have since whittled it down and stayed on top of the inbox game. There are some tricks to it that I’ll share with you here. Some of these ideas were introduced to me at a conference. A high-level executive from a company came in and shared insights from his book. If I can find the book and his name, I will update this post and share it with you!  

  1. Set up your inbox to automatically tag and file receipts. You don’t have to read them or even see them – they just go to the right folder.  
  2. Unsubscribe from that listserv that you’ve stayed on just in case you might need that company. You know they exist, you can find them when you need them. Unsubscribe.
  3. As soon as an auto-notice of any kind comes in to your inbox, delete or move it to another folder. Especially if it’s the kind of notice that you never read.
  4. If an email will take mere minutes to respond, do it right there. Your mental energy and time are too precious to repeat the reading and thinking about it.
  5. This one’s important, so I’ll say it in bold. Your inbox is not your to-do list. If you need to remember to do something, keep an actual to-do list. Emails are checked so frequently that running through a to-do list every single time you log in is a recipe for feeling scattered and overwhelmed.

I can proudly say that I have way less wasted time than I used to because of these tricks. And I want you to know that I didn’t implement them overnight. I whittled away at my 1,000 emails over the course of 2 weeks. It became kind of a game, getting the number down.

You deserve to live every minute of your life with a clear mind and less distraction. You deserve more minutes freed up. I hope that these tricks will be useful to you. And if you have some email tips of your own, I very much want to know about them! Please share them in the comments. May our energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

Five ideas to make remembering a loved one easy and healing

May is a month with some sadness for my family. It’s the month my grandfather passed away. I sat at the foot of his bed in the dark, early hours of that morning, rubbing his feet and singing him on. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I miss him all the time. Especially in May.

I’m sure you have months with similarly hard anniversaries.


The most important thing is that we honor our hearts and whatever it is we’re feeling as these anniversaries approach.  

-Ashley Fisher

Today, let’s explore some simple and meaningful ways to honor loss. Things that take no extra time, which is especially important for mothers who struggle for time to sit still for anything! Our hearts still need care.

Five easy-to-do ideas:

-Make their favorite dinner and share some stories about them with your children while you eat.

-Grab a bouquet of flowers when you’re at the grocery store. Put them on your table as a reminder of their love for you, and yours for them.

-Plant a flower they loved if it’s garden season and you garden

-Talk to them as you drive to work (or write them a letter in present tense if you’ve got time)

-Call someone who also loved them and share some memories.

Want to do a bigger project in their honor? The website Love Lives On has over 100 ideas. I especially love their suggestion to buy a biodegradable sky lantern. You could even fill it with notes for them before sending it into the night.

The most important thing is that we honor our hearts and whatever it is we’re feeling as these anniversaries approach. There is no wrong feeling. No perfect timeline for grief. And no death for love so true. We are blessed.

****What about you? How do you remember your loved ones on the anniversary of their passing? Write a comment below or respond to another person’s comment. May our energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!