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    Make A Back To School Command Center Under $20

    Make this school year a success by creating a command center that will make organization seamless and pretty all for under $20!

    Let’s be real here, I’m a planner and organization junkie. Anything that makes my life easier and less chaotic is something that I’m here for–especially as it pertains to back to school. I’ve been pretty honest about my struggles through kindergarten last year and I’m determined to make my planner addiction a strength for first grade.

    And you know what? Target has my back.

    I snagged some of these babies a couple of weeks ago to help me organize my office. Not only do I just hate having clutter on my desk, I really can’t afford the space so an easy hanging solution was something that I was 100% here for. I used push pins to hang these and we were up and ready to go in 5 min.

    Make this school year a success by creating a command center that will make organization seamless and pretty all for under $20!

    After I went school shopping for mini, I knew that I would need something to help me keep it together. Being a #mamamogul + matriarch of the family + chef + chauffer + everything = my mind in a tizzy. I’m a visual person so I need to keep the important things in a place that I would see them. So after talking to mini, we decided that the best place for the command center would be right by the front door. It’s where she essentially comes in and dumps her stuff so that works.

    Make this school year a success by creating a command center that will make organization seamless and pretty all for under $20!

    Essentials For the Command Center

    I knew I needed a calendar, place to take notes, place to sign things, and a place to stick reminders and other papers. Target’s Dollar Section had all of these things that I needed so it made it super easy:

    Chalkboard – $3
    Cork Board – $3
    White Board Calendar – $3
    Clipboard – $3
    File Folders – $1
    File Folder Holder – $2 (from Walmart)

    Make this school year a success by creating a command center that will make organization seamless and pretty all for under $20!

    **Note: These links are NOT the ones that I bought specifically BUT they are similar to what I did buy and will make a good substitute if you can’t find the ones I got.

    Putting It All Together

    Again, I’m lazy so I used push pins to put this all together. It was pretty easy and only took about 10 min but I’m loving how it looks! I used some yarn that I had around to tie chalk markers, dry erase markers and my pen so they hang near where they’ll be used. I’m excited to see how this will help keep our year organized!
    Make this school year a success by creating a command center that will make organization seamless and pretty all for under $20!

    How do you plan on staying organized this year?

    How To Survive Kindergarten As A First Time Parent

    Have a kid heading to kindergarten for the first time? It can be overwhelming for all parties involved but I've got you covered with how to thrive!

    Being completely transparent, I was a little unprepared for kindergarten. By the last day of school, the only thing I could do is call my mom and fuss at her for making this motherhood thing appear so easy and uncluttered. But me? I did not have the whole seamless appearance down despite how hard I tried to be “that mom”. The last day came and all I could do was pick mini up and take her to Six Flags under the guise that we were celebrating her accomplishments when I was really relieving my stress as I screamed on these roller coasters.

    via GIPHY

    And then I got mad–not really but kind of. Why, right? Because NOT ONE MOTHER PREPARED ME!!!

    But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with what to expect and how to handle it like a boss–not like I did!

    What To Expect When Expecting {A Kindergartner}

    The Emotions

    I thought I was going to cry and boohoo and be a blubbering mother. I wasn’t but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be. If you’re a crier, go ahead and just boo-hoo. I didn’t cry but I was that stalker mom. I walked her in, sat her down, then stood outside and watched her interact with her new classmates. No tears but lots of watching.

    via GIPHY

    And their emotions will vary too! Mini tried to play it cool and not cling to me but I could see the nervousness in her eyes. If you have a kid that’s more attached and a little afraid, acknowledge their little feelings and work through them with them. And if they’re cool, still reassure them that having other emotions is ok.

    The emotions are the easy part.

    The Schedule

    When kids start school, they have to get up super early. Like out the door early–before the sunrises early. It’s truly insane. But make sure that you’re up before them and have a chance to get yourself together. Set up your coffee and their breakfast at night. Be prepared so you don’t get caught missing buses and having your kids tardy for their class party.

    via GIPHY

    The Papers

    I wasn’t ready for this. Mini was sent home with 1000 pieces of paper every day. Tree frogs were literally knocking at my door looking for their habitats. So here was my challenge: I kept everything, read nothing, and returned things late. I felt like the disheveled mom that made things super hard for the teacher and was just the example of the worst parent in the world. But this year I’ve changed some things and since this was hardest for me, I’m sharing how to make the single hardest part of your kids going to school easy.

    How To Survive Your Kids Starting School

    Have a kid heading to kindergarten for the first time? It can be overwhelming for all parties involved but I've got you covered with how to thrive!

    I will say this, organization is key.

    Pro-Tips:

    • Make sure that all clothes are picked out the night before. This will prevent any arguments in the mornings.

    • Prepare breakfasts and lunches the night before. No one feels like running around like a chicken with their heads cut-off to make sure that their kids are fed.

    • Keep snacks in easy to access places so that both you and kids can grab them.

    • Keep kids artwork for 1-2 weeks before deciding to keep or toss–you can’t keep it all!!

    • Set up a Mommy Command Center to keep the papers organized and your sanity intact!

    Having your child start school is an amazing milestone that can also be incredibly overwhelming. Although all of this advice is great, the best advice that I can truly give is to take it all in stride, ask questions, and enjoy it. I can still remember my first day of kindergarten and how reassured I was because my parents seemingly had it all together.

    Seasoned parents, what other advice would you give here?

    P.S. If you found this useful, don’t forget to share!

    Creating A Back to School Morning Routine

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    Can you believe that summer break is almost over and it’s almost time to get back your the school routine? I feel like it was just yesterday we were celebrating the last day of school and now I’m planning the best way to hop back into our school routine. I don’t know about you but mornings are super tough around here so I’ve come up with a great morning routine to keep us on track.

    Creating A Back To School Routine

    Our routine last year was a pretty good one but there are some changes that we need to account for in order to make it work for us. I’m a huge supporter (and enforcer) of routines. They set the tone for the day and expectations. They make it so you have your plan A but can develop any other plans just in case that one doesn’t work out. But how do you create it?

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    List Out All Activities By Day

    With mini starting first grade, our activities look way different. She’ll be starting track this year so that means we have to make sure that we schedule this in. Make a list of all activities that everyone in the family is going to be participating in and what time they happen.

    List Out All The Things That Happen Daily

    Making dinner, waking up, bed times, etc. If it’s something that happens every day especially at the same time, make sure this is included.

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    Plan The Normal Day

    Include wake up and bed times, morning and evening routines, time block for activities, dinner, etc.–have it all there.

    Review With Your Family

    This is an important step. You need to make sure that you set the proper expectation with them so they know what’s going on. And ask if they have suggestions or if there’s anything else they want to add. Their buy in is important and will make keeping the routine so much easier.

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    Morning Routine & Evening Routine

    Depending on how old your kids are, this can be an independent thing for them But kids are kids so they sometimes need help. What has helped us is developing morning and evening routines that are posted. This way when I say it’s time to start our morning/evening routine, there’s no questions or confusion. Here’s what ours looks like:

    Morning Routine

    Pre-Planning For Success of Your Morning Routine

    I started doing this when mini was about 2 but every Sunday I would plan out a week’s worth of outfits for her. She would go and get a bag of her clothing and get dressed. This made our mornings seamless since there was no looking for pieces of clothing. Now that she’s 6, she does it herself and it definitely makes things way easier.

    Interested in trying this out?

    Grab 5 ziplock bags and label them with the days of the week. Keep in mind whatever special class (Art, PE, Music) they may of scheduled for that day. Pick out everything they would need from underwear to socks and everything in between and put it in the bag. Boom. Done!

    Morning Routine Time Keeper Tutorial

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    Mini can’t tell time just yet but that doesn’t mean that she can’t keep on her schedule for her routine and help me with the baby! In this tutorial, we’ll be modifying a clock so your little one can keep track of time and on schedule!

    Materials: 

    1 Clock, Markers or Crayons, Paper, Routine, Screwdriver

    Steps:

    1. Assign colors to each step of your routine.

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    2. Take the cover off the clock.

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    3. Draw lines and color the numbers that correspond with the time that whatever action is supposed to happen.

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    4. Put the cover back on.

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!

    5. Hang in a common area with the routine key next to it.

    The first day of school is around the corner and mornings can be tough when you've gotten off schedule. Create an easy morning routine now!


    On a scale of 1-10, how ready for back to school are you?

    5 Sweat-Proof Makeup For Your Workouts

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.

    I have a confession to make: I wear makeup when I workout. No, not a full out beat face but yes, I normally don at least 5 pieces of makeup for my sweat sesh’s. Because I’m normally on Snapchat pre, post, or during workouts, I’ve been asked what it is that I’m wearing so I’ve put this list together!

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.

    1. Shea Moisture Foundation

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.
    I tried this out doing a post for my girl Brittany and now I wear it everyday. I mix it with a moisturizer to create my own version of a BB cream that gives my complexion a clear and even look. Now honestly speaking, because I sweat a lot, this does come off.

     

     

     


     2. Dr. Brandt’s XYZ Face Cream

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.I’ll be 33 in a couple days and have become obsessed with making sure I don’t look like I’m aging. I mix the Shea Moisture Foundation with this cream so that all day I’m fighting wrinkles. Plus, this moisturizer feels amazing. Nothing like my pores opening up and welcoming this in!

     

     

     

     


    3. Tarte Lip Stain

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.
    One of my oldest friends introduced me to this a couple years ago and I haven’t stopped wearing it since. I love the red because red is such a power color to me and when I’m working out, that’s exactly what I need. Plus, who doesn’t look great in a beautiful red right? The best part of this is that it doesn’t kiss, bite, or sweat off.

     

     


    4. Stila Waterproof Eye Liner

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.
    Eyeliner + Mascara + Red lippie = one amazing look. Such a simple and easy to pull off look that survives even the sweatiest of workouts.

     

     

     

     


    5. Waterproof Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.
    This is my favorite mascara now so I wear it everyday but I love how this doesn’t come off unless I want it to so when I’m wearing my “Muscles & Mascara” tank, I’m not worried about raccoon eyes.

     

     

     

    Sweat-Proof Makeup For the Win

    You know how some people get up and get dressed every day regardless of whether the leave their homes for work or not? This is the equivalent to that. While I’m not 100% comfortable with my body, that doesn’t mean that I can’t look good while I’m working towards my goals. A little bit of makeup makes the difference for me and makes me feel beautiful as I’m working on my goals.

    Do you wear makeup when you workout?


    60-Day Challenge Update

    Week 7: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

    This morning when I weigh-ed in on my scale I was officially down 15lbs since the beginning of the competition. I’m stoked. I’m gaining more and more confidence and am feeling more like I’m ready for the zombie apocalypse should it come (that IS what I’m training for after all!!). I’m paying more attention to what I’m eating and when and my cravings. I find that if I haven’t properly spaced out my eating then I all I want to do is stuff my face which is counterproductive. I’ve also found that starting my day off with some quality proteins combats my hunger.

    I wear makeup when I workout but only the sweat-proof kind. Here are my 5 favorite pieces to get my sweat on w/while not having to sacrifice looking good.

    **Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links so feel free to click away and support your girl!

    Cruising Thru Atlanta Traffic In the Mazda 6

    I honestly never thought that I would have a post with this title. I’ve lived in Atlanta for almost 15 years now and I’ve never seen traffic patterns the way they are here. Atlanta’s traffic is senseless. We’re overcrowded and it shows with how the build up begins so early. In fact, it seems like it’s ALWAYS rush hour!

    I digress…

    My summer has been filled with road trips. I’m trying to teach myself to love driving in the car for hours upon hours–desensitizing myself. Abc spent a couple of weeks with my mom and I couldn’t wait to get her back. I hopped in the new 2016 Mazda 6 to go and get her. I left my house at about 1pm thinking this would be the perfect time. I was meeting my mom 3 hours away to pick her up. But then Atlanta traffic hit. Yes, at 1pm I was stuck in traffic.

    Instead of being miserable, I was able to actually enjoy the ride. I turned on the cruise control that adjusts your speed automatically based on the distance of the car in front of you. Do you know how much this made my life easy? If you’ve ever lived or driven in Atlanta, then yes, you do know exactly what I mean. I’d packed some snacks so I was ready for whatever was waiting for me traffic wise. Even though it took me 6 hours to go the 3 hours, I arrived safely and happily in the Mazda 6.

    Hopping on the road for my day trip in this beautiful @mazdausa 6. Got all the important things: protein shake, water, healthy snacks.

    A photo posted by The Crunchy Mommy (@thecrunchymommy) on

    The 2016 Mazda 6

    Red car. #PurpleDrink. Both #toddlerapproved #drivemazda #thatbloglifestyle

    A photo posted by The Crunchy Mommy (@thecrunchymommy) on


    I’ve driven the Mazda 3 and it was beautiful–but a little snug. The Mazda 6 is pretty comparable to the Mazda 3. In fact, my only “con” was the sizing sooooooo naturally that’s not a thing to even worry about right now.

    Atlanta traffic can make the strongest person cry but I cruised through happily in the 2016 Mazda 6 as I took a solo road trip. Read on for more deets!

    My Fave Features:

    The color was beautiful! I feel like red is a power color and this beauty was a perfect cherry red. I felt like a boss driving it.

    The sound system created an oasis in the car. When we drove back, I was able to set up some white noise/rain sounds to make sure that abc slept peacefully. Then once she was down, I put all the sound to the front and enjoyed my audiobook as I finished up the drive.

    Atlanta traffic can make the strongest person cry but I cruised through happily in the 2016 Mazda 6 as I took a solo road trip. Read on for more deets!

    Cruise-control saved my sanity. Seriously. One of my pet peeves in life is traffic and I was sitting in an absurd amount of it. But because it automatically detects how close the car in front of you is and then adjusts speed it made things sooooo much easier.

    Lumbar support made it so my back was comfortable throughout the journey.

    The ease of connecting my phone via Bluetooth was awesome. I love this feature and it makes travelling super easy.

    Atlanta traffic can make the strongest person cry but I cruised through happily in the 2016 Mazda 6 as I took a solo road trip. Read on for more deets!

    I Brought My Baby Back In The Mazda

    This was the longest that I had been away from her. I didn’t cry and neither did she but boy did I miss her. As much as I did miss her, I needed the break from motherhood to focus on my marriage and myself without guilt. I’m incredibly grateful to my mom for giving me this time and Mazda for bringing her back!

    Look at who I found on my day trip on Friday? ABC’s curls are popping courtesy of the @YouBeNatural hair line. We used the shampoo, edge control cream, curly shaper and curl lotion.

    A photo posted by The Crunchy Mommy (@thecrunchymommy) on

    **Disclaimer: I received the 2016 Mazda 6 for a week in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are all mine!**