How To Rock Your Back To Life Routine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #GoldPeakLattes #CollectiveBias

We did it!

We survived the crazy that was the first week of school. Like the first week with a new baby, the first week of school is a lot of crazy, a lot of tired, and a lot of figuring out how on earth this schedule is all going to work out.

(Ok, so it’s NOT as intense as the first week with a newborn, but it gives me slight flashbacks to that time. Also, those of you dealing with Back to School/Life AND a baby right now? All I can say is a big ol’ Texas “Bless Your Heart”)

Now we have one week of normal-ness before Labor Day throws another goofy week our way. I’m in full on back-to-life mode, and so today I wanted to give you all my tips and tricks on how to rock YOUR back to life routine this year before the holiday madness hits!

The tips I’m sharing work no matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooling mom, a work-outside-of-the-home mom, or a work-from-home mom like me!

How To Rock Your Back-To-Life Routine

Fuel up!

Now just yesterday I shared with you just how much COFFEE gets me through these days! However, one thing about Texas is that even though the leaves are starting to change colors slightly it’s still SO HOT. So where do you turn for that much needed-energy boost? No worries, I’ve got you covered!

You see Gold Peak® has some *amazing* new products out that hit the spot perfectly! Whether you’re a tea or a coffee lover there’s a new cold brew flavor that’s perfect for you. Even better? You won’t have to wait in those looooong coffee shop lines and forgo saving for the holidays to pay for these delicious treats.

I found mine in the cold storage grab and go section of Walmart, but yours might be in the beverage aisle, too! I bought all the new flavor options (because, yum!)

The Gold Peak Tea Lattes are made with Real Sugar and Real Tea, so you can feel good about purchasing them! Also, Gold Peak Coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans, real cream and real sugar too! The sizes are perfect for single serving and will really give you that delicious cold drink to provide you with more energy and alertness–which you’ll need for the rest of my tips!

Plan, plan, and then plan some more

I have several “brains” none of which are the one found in my head. Because I juggle working from home with 2 different jobs, plus being the main care provider for the kids AND our home I have a whole lot to keep track of! I help make sure that all my plates stay spinning and not crashing onto the ground by using several different ways to track and plan all I have going on. Here’s the breakdown of what they are, and how to use them!

Create a weekly schedule

Use an on or offline Word Processing System to create a rough weekly schedule for yourself. This can either be super lax, or extremely detailed like mine is. Back when I only worked one job I just had general tasks assigned to each day of the week and a morning and evening routine for me and the kids written in. As you can see, these days things are a little more detailed!

I’m the kind of person that if I don’t have a specific task in mind I get overwhelmed. This is when I find myself mindlessly scrolling through social media. Or if I don’t have a set time to clean my house each week that slides to the bottom of my mind with my “could always be doing so much more” job. It’s not until I walk into the bathroom and go “oh, gross!” that I only realize it’s been a month since I deep cleaned it.

Setting up a daily schedule like this makes sure that those things don’t slip through the cracks. Of course, you’re going to have weird weeks and days. But this helps with the 75% of the time your life isn’t in complete chaos. Feel like your life is always in chaos? Then this will actually help that big time!

You can see by the picture above how I structure each day. On the outline section, you can see that I also use this document to help direct my flow of work each day. It’s also where I keep my Word of the Year and some other inspirational tidbits that I know I need to re-focus on from time to time!

How I keep track of making sure I’m following my schedule depends on the day. Using your phone timer is a great tool to make sure you’re sticking to those batches of time. It also really helps you keep your focus! My BIG goal this back-to-life season is to track my time at work. I’m contracted for all my jobs right now, which means that I get paid a set fee no matter how long it takes. It would be super beneficial for me, however, to “track my hours” so I can get a good grip of how much I’m even making an hour, and where I might need to tweak my time management.

Use An On and/or Offline Calendar to Track Big Events

Once you’ve got your weekly schedule/routine down it’s time to focus in on those events that don’t happen every single day in the same order. I use an online calendar that I absolutely love! It lets me create several different calendars and then I can display and share them according to what I need to keep track of at the moment, and who they’re relevant to. For example, here are the 5 different calendars I have all tied into the one, what I use them for, and who they’re shared with!

  • Personal Things — Here’s what you get a glimpse of above! This is the all-things-family calendar I keep to help me remember when the kids have special things going on, to track our vacations, days off, appointments, and all that adult-ing stuff. This is shared with hubby
  • Work Things — My job varies wildly week to week. I use this to keep track of things (like this post!) and my other job to-dos
  • Menu Planning — Exactly what it sounds like! I use this as part of my menu planning system each week.
  • Money — Helps me keep track of money that’s supposed to be coming in
  • Confident Foundation Blog Posts — This is shared with my blog contributors so we know when each other will be posting! If you have a team keeping things on an online calendar is a perfect way for everyone to stay in sync!

Use a Paper Planner to Schedule and Check off Daily Tasks

Finally, we have my good ol’ pen and paper planner! I use this each day to keep me focused on everything that needs to be accomplished within that 24-hour span. It’s where my schedule and online calendar meet into a tidy little space. Plus I love the sense of accomplishment that checking off boxes gives me!

If you use the combination of these easy and inexpensive tools, with a glass of delicious Gold Peak Salted Caramel Coffee Drink at your side, you are sure to ROCK your back-to-life routine!

Save

Save

Sweet Coffee Biscuit Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BrewToPerfection #MrCoffeeDay #CollectiveBias

The alarm clock screeches me awake at a time most unholy. I fumble around to get dressed and going for the day while I attempt to herd children simultaneously.

(WHY are they out in the backyard with the dog still in their jammies when we need to be walking out the door soon?)

During this foggy, draggy, here-comes-another-yawn stage I have one benediction I wish for myself and for all my fellow crazy-busy back-to-life people:

{{Psstt–it’s a printable! So in case you need a little smile each day or want to give one to your friend just click above and print out or save!}}

Because, Coffee. I would like to bear hug whoever first discovered the magic that is coffee. I fill up a full MUG (yes, mug) every morning. My coffee gets me through drop offs at two different schools and gearing back into my busy-crazy work from home and full-time mom and wife life.

During this time of year, the sweet liquid gold is more precious than ever, and it’s a great time to treat yourself to a new coffee pot! Also, August is National Coffee Month (it’s like they know us….) So really I think I’ve given you all the good reasons you need. Plus, I have some great news for you in that department:

Right now you can find demos for the Mr. Coffee® 12-cup Programmable Advanced Brew Coffee Maker. They’ll be passing these In-store coupons: Save $5 on all Mr. Coffee® Coffeemakers and Espresso Units over $29. Even if you can’t find the demo be sure to check the coffee aisle or an end cap because the coupon may be located there!

The programmable feature is a must for me! During those bleary eyed mornings walking out to an already brewed pot is like a hug.

They also come in this fun red color which matches our black, red, and white kitchen scheme *so* perfectly. To Celebrate National Coffee Month with Mr. Coffee® I decided that I would make a batch of my hubbies favorite recipe, and share it with you, too! It pairs so perfectly with a cup of freshly brewed coffee!

Sweet Coffee Biscuit Recipe

If you’ve never had a coffee biscuit before they’re a little hard to describe! They’re part moist and dense cookie, part flaky biscuit, and a whole lot of perfect for pairing with a hot beverage. They’re sweet, but not overly sweet which is why they’re my husband’s favorite. This recipe makes a BIG batch, but there’s no easy way to split it because….

This started out as a “dash of this and a pinch of that recipe” passed down from my hubby’s grandma. His mom got it into the form you see above, which wasn’t much better. Never fear, though, I worked out the kinks and will walk you through with actual measurements and cook times! Since it does make so many it’s a great recipe to bring to places and share with friends. Another option that works great is to freeze half the dough to make later.

The first step is to preheat your oven to 450 degrees (no, not a typo, you want it that hot!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs (beaten in advance)
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 2 1/2 TSP Vanilla
  • 1 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 7 Cups of Flour (plus extra for dusting)

Add in and blend all ingredients together in order listed. Slowly add in flour one cup at a time and mix until a nice, firm dough has been created. (It’ll somewhat have the texture of cookie dough, but be a bit denser).

On a well-dusted surface roll out dough until a few inches thick. You don’t want them cookie thickness, you want more of biscuit thickness. (I learned this the hard way the first few times I attempted these.) The traditional way is to cut them out in circles so they look more like biscuits. Personally, I like to have a little fun and use cookie cutters.

Place on a baking sheet. These don’t “run” at all, they just puff up. So you can place them fairly close together with no worries. Bake at 450 for 6-8 minutes adjusting for how your personal oven cooks and the sizes you cut out. These stars and the traditional circles were done at 6 minutes, the hearts took closer to 8.

The Coffee Biscuits are done cooking once they puff up like this and just the edges are starting to turn brown. Do not wait for them to turn completely golden or they’ll be over cooked. You want this pretty white coloring!

Allow to cool and serve with a fresh cup of coffee brewed in your Mr. Coffee® Coffee Maker!

Here’s a printable recipe to make life easy for you:

Sweet Coffee Biscuit Recipe
Cook time:
Total time:
Slightly sweet these Coffee Biscuits are part cookie, part biscuit and a lot of delicious paired with a fresh cup of coffee!
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs (beaten in advance)
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 2 1/2 TSP Vanilla
  • 1 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 7 Cups of Flour (plus extra for dusting)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  2. Add in and blend all ingredients together in order listed.
  3. Slowly add in flour one cup at a time and mix until a nice, firm dough has been created
  4. On a well-dusted surface roll out dough until a few inches thick
  5. Cut into circles with a glass or into shapes with a cookie cutter
  6. Bake on a Cookie Sheet for 6-8 minutes until puffed up and sides are turning slightly brown

 

Or Pin It To Save For Later!

DAnd dDon’t forget to check out your local Walmart for the in-store coupon for the Mr. Coffee® 12-cup Programmable Advanced Brew Coffee Maker!

How To Save Money On Glasses and Contacts

How To Save Money On Glasses and Contacts
Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: As a busy mom on a budget every penny counts for us, and I know it does for your family too! In exchange for these awesome products, the folks over at Discount Contact Lenses and Discount Glasses wanted me to share a little about my experiences with their products.

 

It had to happen. After the 4th of July passed our local store put up all their Back To School sections. When we saw them the kids and I let out a collective groan. None of us are ready for back to school, but ready or not, here it comes!

Right now the blogosphere and Pinterest are booming with ideas on how to save on back to school supplies. Previously I shared with you how I keep the kids and me dressed in designer clothes for pennies. A lot of people may think that once you’ve got the supplies and clothes covered you’re good to go, but you’re not! There’s one more big, important area to make sure you’re up to date on before the back to school craziness hits. I’m talking about updating and restocking eye glasses and contacts, for you and your kids! Trust me, when you blink and you’re up to your eyeballs in holiday, sports, and homework you’ll thank me that you made this part of your back to school shopping!

How To Save Money On Glasses and Contacts

I discovered several years ago that I could get beautiful, affordable prescription glasses online for a fraction of the price of purchasing them at the eye doctor’s. I’ve never looked back since! This especially was so helpful for us when we didn’t have insurance while my hubby was going to college. Even now that we have good insurance through his job it will still only cover either contacts or glasses each year. So I still rely on awesome online deals to get my new glasses!

I picked up these beautiful Red Lotus Glasses in the Purple Fade (they also come in Brown & Burgundy) from DiscountGlasses.com  They carry a huge inventory of fun lenses in every shape and color imaginable. They’re also extremely affordable. For example, these adorable cat eye glasses are just $23 right now!!! The site is very easy to navigate and sort by type, color, or shape.

I love how my glasses look, work, and fit! Not to mention they perfectly match this way-too-fun-and-cute dress that Bob bought me for our anniversary this year. With his bachelor of science as soon as I saw it I had to get it!

In addition to the fade in front, they have beautiful designs on the sides. I love glasses with unique detailing like this. Another reason I love being able to buy glasses affordably online is that it allows me to go with fun colors to match all my different outfits!

If you know me, you know that most days if I’m out of the house I’m wearing my contacts. I’ve finally learned to embrace pretty glasses over the years, but I’m still always most comfortable in my contacts! My very favorite brand is Acuvue Oasys. I’ve worn them for years and they work wonderfully for me. A little while back, however, they switched them slightly which changed them from 1-month lenses to 2-week lenses. This means that our insurance doesn’t cover all the boxes I need for an entire year worth.

Again, I turned online to get the best deal possible on this everyday necessity. Discount Contact Lenses.com carries my brand (along with all the leading and most recommended lenses) and ordering is easy-peasy!

The end of summer shouldn’t be stressful, complicated or cost a million dollars.

It should be all about soaking up those last moments with the kids. It should be full of blanket tents, splash parks, and impromptu front room dances to favorite Youtube playlists.

So use these tips and tricks to save big so you can get back to those moments that really matter.

Save