Happy 2016! Let’s just let that sink in a little bit, shall we? This new year is a blank slate, friends, so how are you going make this year a little better and a little kinder for you and your family?My mantra for this year is More Joy, Less Stress. Say it with me everyone: More Joy! Less Stress! How am I going to do this? I’m pulling out my favorite parenting life hacks and sanity savers to finally get everything organized in this house, starting with all the toys, I’m finding ways to get more quality time with my main squeeze without breaking the bank, and I’m finding easy life hacks to help everyone in this house be healthier.
Toys, Toys Everywhere!
Family game night is the perfect way to spend some quality time with your kiddos and this parenting hack is the perfect way to make sure you never lose another piece to your favorite games.
My daughter LOVES stuffed animals, but I don’t love how they've taken over her room. To create a practical and creative storage solution take the outer shell of a bean bag chair and fill it with all your child’s stuffed animal friends. The toys create a comfy chair and you can finally see the floor to their bedroom!
Keep American Girl or Barbie clothes, furniture, and accessories together in an under-the-bed shoe organizer. Just slide it under the bed when they aren't playing for a clean room. It’s also perfect for truck and train collections.
Save yourself the pain of stepping on a rogue Lego by organizing Legos in an over-the-door shoe organizer. Sort the pieces by color so your kids can see the pieces they want and quickly put everything away when they’re done. As a bonus, a three–ring binders are great ways to organize all of the Lego sets directions and empty baby wipes containers make perfect on-the-go Lego cases
Bringing Back Date Night
Planning a date night is a lot of work. You have to coordinate schedules, bribe ababysitter, mortgage your home to pay for that babysitter, and attempt to stay awake long enough to make it through a movie because you ate your weight in pasta during dinner. But we all NEED date nights with our significant others, so this year, make it date night without leaving your house with these fun ideas.
Theme Night- Put those kids to bed and pick your favorite theme Italian, Greek, Asian, or even a time period (60s, 70s, 80s). Make everything fit the theme. For Italian you can watch my favorite movie Life is Beautiful, make a delish pasta dinner, splurge on Italian wine, and gelato for dessert.
Breakfast in Bed– Set that alarm clock super early and make your honey a fantastic breakfast in bed. Save the frozen waffle for the kids and use those fancy kitchen utensils you got for your wedding shower a million years ago.
Partner Picks– He loves horror movies, you love rom-coms, but tonight one person gets to pick everything-movie, dinner, snacks, “dessert” (read those quotes however you want). The other person gets to sit back and enjoy.
Anniversary Night– Pull out those wedding glasses, pop the champagne, watch that wedding video, sigh over your small waist and lack of laugh lines, and relish in that sweet day together. And if my man wants to buy me something shiny to celebrate, well then, that is just perfect (hint, hint)
Wine, Cheese, Chocolate—Skip dinner and go right to dessert! Get all of the good stuff and only share it with your Sweetie.
A Healthy Family
Having a salad at lunch and dinner can help your entire family meet those healthy living goals. Buying lettuce in bulk saves you money, and this hack will keep your lettuce looking fresh for weeks. Start by washing, chopping and drying the lettuce. Then line a plastic storage container with paper towels, lay the lettuce in an even layer on top, and cover with a layer of paper towels before locking the lid down. Now you have lettuce on hand for meals and it will be fresh for weeks!
Your entire family will benefit from drinking more water, but getting them to actually drink more water can be tricky. Grab a water bottle and a permanent maker. Fill the bottle with water a cup at a time and draw a line marking each cup. Use these lines as a visual reminder to keep drinking throughout the day Adults should have 8 cups of healthy liquids a day(sorry, friends, this doesn’t include coffee or wine) For kids, use stickers on the outside of the bottle as an incentive to drink.
Breakfast smoothies are healthy and yummy option so make these a regular in your house by chopping up and freezing all the ingredients for a smoothie in an individual sandwich bags. In the morning, grab a bag and throw the ingredients into a blender and enjoy.
So bring it, 2016. We’re ready for you and all of your joy and a lot less of your stress. Especially with joyful faces like this:
After all, we’re moms and the only thing that scares us is running out of coffee on a Monday morning and maybe a two year old throwing a tantrum in Target *shivers*