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Reduce Your Mental Load

I don't know about you, but I feel like my mind is a never-ending checklist. Just this morning, I had to remember to dress the kids up for "Art Night," give Chloe the right medicine, place an online grocery order, arrange sitting a parent social, pack suits for swim class, and prep a dish for a potluck. That was all before 8. Just writing that list makes me exhausted. This week, I'm going to give tips on how to reduce this mental load. Today: make scheduling childcare easier:

You're a Great Mom

Whenever I'm having a rough day, I try to complement the people around me, especially strangers. It's amazing how much a tiny action can light someone up. The best compliments are incredibly specific: You are a great mom because you jump head first into your kid's interests. Or, you are a great friend because you always remember the littlest of details in people's lives. So today, give two. First, look in the mirror. Then find someone else's day to make. As Mark Twain once sa

How to Fly Solo with Twin Toddlers and an Infant

Yesterday I sat down with Uplift's user researcher, Zan Clark (no relation), to learn how she gracefully flies solo with twin toddlers and a one-year-old. Here are her top tips: Lower your expectations. Your goal is to get to the destination alive, not to have a quiet or enjoyable flight. It's also unreasonable for a kid to sit still for 8-hours. Knowing this takes off the pressure. Find the helpers. On a plane full of people there will be at least one (if not 10) who want to

It's OK If They Cry

We are hard-wired to feel gut-wrenching pain when our kid cries. It's nature's way to make sure our babies survive. However, this biology often has new moms sacrificing their well-being. To take care of another little human, you need to take care of yourself. Repeat that with me. I found Sarah Peck's advice to new moms in her Startup Pregnant Podcast comforting: Pretend you have four kids. With four kids, you can't drop everything you are doing to run to your baby. In fact, t

The Magic of Un-pairing

After I had Rowan, I lost 45 pounds, down 25 from pre-pregnancy, by adopting dozens of little rules in my life that led to good habits. One of the simplest is no drinking alcohol while eating. I could have a drink before or after dinner, but this prevented me from mindlessly downing glasses of wine while dining. This tiny step reduced my alcohol intake significantly and made the before and after dinner drinks more special and satisfying. Are there actions that you can unpair

Stop the Sunday Scaries

Nothing is worse than lying in bed unable to sleep at 2 AM Sunday night because you are dreading the week ahead. You are not alone -- 76% of Americans experience the Sunday Scaries. Here are some tips to make this Sunday a little brighter: Do something for future you. Instead of just running out of the office this afternoon, spend 20 minutes planning for the week ahead. That way you can be more on autopilot on Monday AM. Don't overload with chores. Try to do more of your chor

How I Stopped Doing Laundry

I hate laundry. Every week feels like Ground Hog Day.  Just looking at the piles drains me. Luckily my Delete, Simplify, Delegate process saved me. I spent 10 minutes brainstorming ideas under each category and picked the bold ones to implement. The result? Something off my plate, and less work for the family overall. Score! Due to popular request, I will walk through more concrete examples like this. Have a problem you want to brainstorm with me? Email me! #momtips #spendtos

Meal Prep Power Hour

One of my favorite gifts for Future Kari, is spending an hour each weekend meal prepping for the week. It simplifies my weeknights, allowing me to get healthy food on the table with less than 10 minutes of work and minimal clean-up. Here is my recipe for a successful hour: Batch cook one grain, either rice, quinoa or faro. I make a triple batch and freeze. That way I can actually have variety in future weeks. Pro tip: sauteing rice in 1 tsp of oil before cooking helps it rehe

Show the Right Kind of Love

It's cliche, but nothing makes me feel more loved than Joe pitching in on the childcare and housework. These acts mean more to me than fancy gifts or foot massages. Can't relate? Then we probably have different Love Languages. Gary Chapman lays out Five Love Languages - different ways that people show and understand love: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. (Take his quiz to find out yours.) We usually default to showing lo

Tonight: Disconnect

Too often as moms, we end up working split shifts -- leaving at 5 pm to pick up the kids and hopping back on after they go to bed. How many nights did you do this week? How does that affect your overall well-being? Building off our boundary setting from yesterday, try going black for tonight. Turn off email notifications on your phone until the next morning. Don't open your computer. Take a bath, read a magazine, call a good friend -- anything but work! Then evaluate on Frida

The Right Kind of Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is a productivity killer. The brief mental blocks when you switch tasks can cost as much as 40% of your time. But, there is a way to do it right! The best type brings joy into your every day by pairing your must-dos with things that energize you: Make it a friend-date. Invite your friend to that exercise class, kid class or shopping trip. Listen while you work. Catch up on your favorite podcasts or books by listening during your commute, workouts or housework. C

One Minute Rule

How often does just looking around your kitchen stress you out? It's a to-do list in physical form -- unopened mail, a dish in the sink, an empty paper towel holder. The best trick for reducing this overhead is Gretchen Rubin's 'One Minute Rule.' Do anything that takes one minute or less immediately. Hang up your coat. Put the dish in the dishwasher. Pay the bill. Reply to the easy emails. Immediately. Keeping all the small tasks under control will help clear your mind to foc

Stop Being a Pavlovian Dog

I'm an addict. I really, really love my phone even though I know it prevents me from being as productive or present as I aspire to be. It just feels so good: I love the dopamine of each Like and never needing to be bored again. App developers play into this -- the average American receives 63 push notifications a day, 671 million of these from marketers. I'm a strong believer that it's easier to change your environment than your willpower, so I'm going on a push notification

Mom Hack: Breakfast Cookies

A favorite mom hack is breakfast cookies.  They take 20 minutes to make, need only three ingredients, and are an incredibly forgiving recipe, making baking them a perfect kid activity. My kids love them because they feel they are eating cookies for breakfast. I love them as a pre-workout snack.  Recipe below. You can sub out the chocolate chips for raisins or blueberries.  But, as Chloe says, "The best days start off with chocolate," so why would you? Skinnytaste Breakfast Co

Stop Making Resolutions

What's Your 18 for 2018? For me, the start of a new year is a time to reflect - both on the past 12 months and on the year ahead. Over the next few days, I'll go over some ways I like to approach being intentional as we go into 2018. First,  I'm participating in Gretchen Rubin's 18 for 2018. It's a simple list of 18 things you want to do in the coming year. Big, small, fun, chose your poison. Just ask yourself, "What could I do in 2018 that would make me hap

I love Boxing Day

I love Boxing Day.  The craziness is starting to die down; the kids are completely entertained with their new toys, and I can usually just stay in my PJ's all day. I also love the idea of getting rid of old toys and clothes to make way for the new. Every year we go through all the old toys and make four piles: donate, trash, keep or save. The 'save' all go in a box to be rotated back in later. 'Keep' stays on the shelves. This year's Boxing Day was like having another Christm

Preventing Family Blow-ups

The holidays breed family drama. One dinner as a kid had my cousin swinging at my Uncle. Eek! Repeat after me: You cannot control anyone else. You can only control your response. Here are some tips to help make sure your response doesn't lead to regret. Have realistic expectations. If Uncle Marvin makes rude comments every year, assume this will happen again. It will sting less if you accept it as inevitable. Be grateful. As hard as this may sound, think of three things that

Entertain without Stress

Entertaining with Minimal Stress I love entertaining and would prefer to have an imperfect party versus not having a 'perfect' one.  Here are some tips to help you enjoy (not stress) having folks over: Remember the big picture. You want to enjoy the time with your guests, not be stressing over details all night. Anytime you feel yourself getting into stress-mode, take a deep breath and remember your true goal. Get help.  A game changer for me was hiring a babysitter for all m

Up Your Holiday Conversation Game

One of the best parts of the holidays is connecting with dear friends and family.  But, reality is often small talk versus truly deep connections. Upping your conversation game can not only make you happier, but one study showed that knowing the history around your family was the single biggest predictor of children's emotional health and happiness.  Take charge of your holiday conversations: At meals: One conversation at a time is the single biggest change you could make to

Kids Meditation

1 Minute Meditations for Kids One of my favorite mom-hacks is Headspace's kid meditations. They take 1 minute and are adorable. "Take your favorite stuff animal,  put it on your chest, watch it move up and down." Personally medtiation has had the biggest impact on my life of any of the healthy habits I've adopted. I understand what being present means, and my head does not swirl in thoughts overthinking life constantly. (I mean, I still overthink things, but no where close to

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