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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?

    3 Things To Do Before Having Your House Cleaned

    Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    Having your home professionally cleaned is a luxury that everyone needs to treat themselves to at the very least annually. As a mompreneur, the things that I’ve come to love most are massages, time spent alone free to let my mind wonder, and a clean space. When you have children, it seems like you’re destined to have a messy home for at least 5 years straight until your youngest no longer walks around tossing things on the floor as if that’s where they belong. But I personally don’t like to have my life flash before my eyes every time my feet hit the ground shoe-less with the threat of hitting some figurine or Lego.

    But in order for you to really be able to have your house cleaned to the best of the professionals ability, there are a couple things you should do first. And yes, I am suggesting pre-cleaning before the cleaning professionals come!

    Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    1. Make sure your sink and dishwasher are empty. I learned this the hard way the first time I had someone come in and clean. It sucked because they cost $60/hour and they spent like 45 min with the dishes. That day I could only afford the downstairs cleaned since I wasn’t dishing my life savings out on some dishes.
    2. Put your “things” away. I know, if you’re doing this then what are they coming for? Well here’s the thing, only you know where your lotions/perfumes/glasses/etc. go. They don’t. And if you opt not to do this, then you’ll open up the cabinet that houses the baking wares and find sippy cup tops or you’ll never be able to find all your fabric scissors. It’ll end up taking you more time to find your things than it would have for you to just put them away.
    3. Get a good playlist for when they come. Music while they work? Bananas right? But let’s face it, when it comes to housecleaning we all do better once we have some body rocking jams on. My personal favorite is the 90s Rump Shaker Chore List on Google Music but, well, I’m older ha! Some people might think it’s weird to put the music on for someone coming to do work in your home but I say why not? Mix it up and let them get into their groove.

    Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    WellKept Cleaned My Home

    Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    I was lucky enough to have WellKept come and clean my home from top to bottom recently. After battling with my asthma issues courtesy of allergies, the hubs getting strep throat, abc nursing a little cold, and then my poor mini battling through Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, mama needed some help in getting my home back in order. And boy did they do it!

    Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    I’d set an appointment for the late afternoon once abc was up from her nap but they called saying they had availability earlier that worked with my schedule as well. Thirty minutes later, three young professionals arrived at my door ready to tackle the craziness that had become my life. I was so apologetic but they reassured me there was nothing to apologize for and that’s why they were here. I really liked how they worked–divide and conquer. Someone handled the kitchen, another did the bathrooms, and the third (who was running things) did the common areas. They were so professional and pleasant that I didn’t have anything to worry about when I ran out to grab abc from day care.

    Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    Four hours later (don’t judge me), they were finished and I thought Cinderella had swooped in with her fairy godmother to whip my home into shape. It smelled so fresh and clean. Mini was running around (not touching anything) exclaiming “Mommy our whole house is cleaned!!!” I loved that when I took a deep breath, I didn’t feel like my lungs were filled with chemicals. The vacuum lines in the carpet smiled at me and my reflection in the clean mirror was extra shiny.

    kitchen

    Satisfied is an understatement. From booking the appointment to the wrap up, the experience was one that was user friendly, professional, and convenient. I love that they offer both house packages as well as a la carte options. The pricing is awesome and I really love how they do it by room and not time. For just over $105, you can get a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house cleaned. How amazing is that?

    Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    Now if you follow me on social media (you really should if you aren’t!) then you’ve seen me say that I’ll be doing a giveaway for a home package. On April 19th, I’ll be hosting a Twitter party where the package is one of the prizes that we’ll be giving away as we chat about tips and tricks for green living! All you need to do is RSVP here and join us at 9pm on Twitter! Just as an FYI, WellKept is only in Atlanta so you must live here in order to win.Having your house cleaned is an awesome treat for a mom. Whether you can afford for it to be done consistently or once in a while, make sure that you follow these 3 tips to make sure you're cleaning professionals are using their time most efficiently. Read more at www.thecrunchymommy.com.

    When was the last time you had your home cleaned? What pre-cleaning tips would you offer?

    Disclaimer: I received a form of compensation for a post about WellKept. All opinions and thoughts are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

    4 Tips to Getting & Keeping It Together #Back2School

    I wouldn’t say that the first week of school was a fail BUT I would say that this second week we are way more prepared. I thought we were ready because I had filled her little meal plan account, had at least her first day outfit ready, and an alarm set–for the first day. And our first day we were ready! Our second day we were kind of ready–she wanted us to pack lunch but we left it in the fridge. Wednesday and Thursday we almost missed the bus. Friday Daddy had to take her to the bus stop since Mommy had tapped out. Story of my life right here.

    So here’s what I learned our first week of school:

    • Missing the bus is enough of an incentive for her to get up and ready within 5 minutes
    • Baby abc gives zero damns about Mommy having to wake up at unheard of hours to get mini to the bus stop on time and will have us up all hours of the night feeling like death is coming in the form of exhaustion
    • Just because school lunch is cool to be able to buy it doesn’t mean that’s what they actually want–nor is it what’s best for them (hard poops=no fun for a little bum)
    • These school folders can be overwhelming as you try to balance reviewing what’s in them, making dinner, nursing baby, etc.

    I hate feeling unprepared and me having to tap out on Friday was evidence that I needed to do better. I’m a perpetual planner and I failed to plan properly for school. I have a plan for planning out my plan that’s how much I plan. Now that I know a couple of things I didn’t know before, I feel more ready to have a successful week/month/year.

    Here are 3 tips that have already helped us:

    Planning the Lunch Box

    I know it’s silly, but I feel like packing a lunch was the most daunting task. Both the hubs and I have fond memories of the lunches our moms packed. My mom would send me with the most divine lunches–turkey, cheese, lettuce & tomato on a croissant, pita’s stuffed with deliciousness, snacks galore. But with all the new regulations on lunch and making sure that I had everything coupled with my mini’s taste buds, the idea of packing lunches really scared me. I’m pretty creative but I’m not that mom making Elsa’s face with some sandwiches–mama just doesn’t have that time. I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing things so that’s what I did here. I broke down what has to be sent with her into compartments, planned out what her lunch would be for the week, and shopped for those things.

    click image to print it if you need to!

    click image to print it if you need to!

    An Outfit A Day Keeps the Hard-Decision Fairy Away

    Mini is a girls girl to the “T”. She is her mother’s child and I can’t fault her for wanting to be stylish–especially after our shopping trip to Carter’s. We don’t have uniforms so instead of fighting over outfits in the morning, I’ve set up a week’s worth of outfits that correspond with whatever elective she has that day. On her PE days, she has her sporty outfits, art days she has an outfit that I don’t mind getting messy with paint or whatever, and music she’s allowed to wear a dress (with shorts of course). Doing this has taken the think work out of mornings since I’m really not the best morning person.

    We use ziplock bags for now

    Planning the Week in Alarms

    In my head, our days are planned out but if it’s just in my head, then teamwork can’t make the dream work. I don’t have one of those un-involved husbands–he’s very hands-on and helps out with everything. Last week my alarms weren’t set so I was happening to look at the time like “Oh.Em.Gee we gotta go!!!” This was my life story as a teen but now as a mom, I can’t be that. Last night I set up all of my alarms which include me getting up for my power hour, getting mini up, walking her to the bus stop, etc. These help me stay focused and on task as well as sets the proper expectations with my husband for what I may or may not need from him. For example, the alarms went off this morning and he knew what needed to be done and was able to jump in where I needed him as I dealt with my crazy baby who has blatant disregard for mommy’s need for sleep and me time. I digress… Our alarms worked this morning.

    On Sunday’s We Plan and Prepare

    I think that’s all I did Sunday from morning until I finally sat down to work. I planned our meals for the week, grocery shopping list, reviewed our budget, and then did the shopping. After that, I organized our kitchen for efficiency which included dividing up bags of snacks into individual snack bags and cutting up veggies and fruits. When mini and the hubs returned from church, I washed her hair, greased her scalp (yes, greased), and braided her hair up into this weeks style she loved. After that, I made her delicious lunch which was something to be proud of. I sat and reviewed all the paperwork that needed my signature and review, packed her backpack, and we got to hang out calmly in the evening without anyone feeling frantic.

    These are some of the things that work for us in making sure that our week flows as smoothly as it can. What are some of your weekly rituals and routines that help with your efficiency?

    Happy Birthday to…

    ME!!!

    Yep, today is my 32nd birthday. This past year has been pretty eventful. In honor of no longer being 31, here are 31 things I did from my 31st year:

    1. Worked until I went into labor
    2. Went through labor without pain meds again
    3. Had a baby
    4. Cried a lot to my husband about thinking I wouldn’t be able to handle 2 children
    5. Learned that I could handle both an infant and a preschooler at the same time
    6. Stayed home with my baby for 11 weeks before returning to work
    7. Returned to writing about motherhood at “mom with a blog”
    8. Gave a presentation to 6th graders about the importance of writing
    9. Celebrated being married for a year
    10. Fell in love with my husband 365 days
    11. “Ran” a race–I say ran loosely because there was lots of walking
    12. Began quilting
    13. Sold my first quilt
    14. Helped my hubs get a new job in his career field
    15. Started The Crunchy Mommy blog
    16. Incorporated my company as The Crunchy Mommy, LLC
    17. Opened my first business accounts
    18. Opened an Etsy Shop
    19. Have completed 38 orders on my Etsy Shop
    20. Made a whipped body butter that has made the symptoms of my daughter’s eczema disappear
    21. Started selling that
    22. Quit my job in corporate America to follow my dreams
    23. Started sewing for myself
    24. Started sewing for other’s and selling my pieces
    25. Rejoined a gym
    26. Started swimming again
    27. Fell in love with thrifting
    28. Binge watched Sense 8 (such an amazing series)
    29. Read #GIRLBOSS and totally recommend it
    30. Got into listening to audiobooks
    31. Stopped being afraid of my past and started living freely in my present and looking forward to my future

    I always feel bad when people ask me what I want for my birthday. I’ve married the man of my dreams who has so much faith in me that he encouraged me to follow my dreams. I’m a mom which is something I’ve always wanted to be. I’m healthy. My babies are healthy. So what could I want? 

    Well, there are some things I want but they can’t really be given to me… But here’s what I would want if I were asking:

    • To not judge my beauty based upon the numbers on the scale, measuring tape, or size in clothes
    • To stop having breakouts on my skin like I’m 13 again
    • For my business to be a success so I know that I made the right decision in leaving corporate
    • Lifelong protection from harm for my loved ones
    • Racism to end and for the world to embrace and love each other for the differences we have

    Since I don’t believe in not working on a problem when I see it, for my 32nd year of life I’ve given myself a challenge. It’s going to be super difficult for me because I struggle with consistency and discipline but these are also things I want to work on. Everyday this year I will work out minimum of 20 minutes per day, plan out my days the night before and keep a jar where I write something that was great for that day in it. 

    Well, I’m off to see how many free things I can get for my birthday!!! 

    xoxo