5 Skincare Resolutions You Need To Make This Year

skincare resolutions for the new year

Your skin is your largest organ, taking care of it needs to be a priority. Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits and veggies, drinking plenty of water, and having a great skincare routine will keep your skin in tip-top shape this year and for years to come. Here are 5 skincare resolutions you need to make this year:

*I am an Independent Consultant for Rodan+Fields, if you purchase any of the recommended products I will receive compensation. 


Has it been a while since you’ve seen a dermatologist? Or maybe you’ve never had a full body check. This is the year that changes. A great skincare routine is important, but it’s not a replacement for this important life-saving yearly check up.

It takes most new patients 6-8 weeks to been seen, so make your appointment now. Skin cancer is the most common cancer. About 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year. In the last 3 decades, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Let that sink in!

Get the all clear or have questionable spots taken care of as soon as possible. Early detection saves lives, skin cancer found and removed early is almost always curable. Now, go schedule your appointment!! (after you finish reading this!)

(source: Skin Cancer Foundation)



Creating and maintaining a regular skincare routine is an investment in yourself that will pay off now and for years to come! It can help calm sensitive skin, prevent acne, combat aging, and give you a healthy complexion.

A lot of people don’t have a skincare routine or they skip steps because they think it will take too long or won’t be worth the effort. But skincare doesn’t have to be complicated!

Rodan+Fields makes things super easy with color coded numbered regimens. Each of the multi-med regimens delivers the right ingredients, with the right formulations, in the right order to help you achieve the results you desire.

Consistency is key, just like with exercising regularly and eating healthier. If you want to improve or maintain your complexion, you have to stick with a great skincare routine.


skincare resolutions in the new year


Ready for “Peptide Power”?
What are peptides and why do you want them in your skincare? Peptides are rapidly absorbing proteins that kick up collagen production and relax the smooth muscle just under the skin which makes fine lines and wrinkles LESS visible!
A not so fun skincare fact: once we turn 30, we lose 1% of the collagen in our skin each year! This leads to loss of firmness, enlarged pores, and lines or wrinkles. Adding peptides can help combat this by kicking up collagen production.
The REDEFINE line is a comprehensive skincare regimen that combines cosmetic ingredients and proven peptide technology to help defend against and reduce the visible signs of aging. It contains the highest amount of collagen stimulating peptides in the industry! That’s why R+F as the #1 anti-aging skincare line in the U.S.!
The eyes are the windows to the soul. And the first place to show the signs of aging. It turns out that the eye area has no oil producing glands to keep the tissue soft!
Adding eye cream to your daily regimen is a great way to improve the quality of that delicate skin.
Rodan+Fields Multi-function Eye Cream has anti-aging Peptide Power that will minimize the appearance of crow’s feet and reduce puffiness around the eye area. Peat extract diminishes dark circles and optical fibers visibly brighten the eye area. Say good-bye to dark circles! This is a must have for all you tired mamas (and papas) out there!
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The simplest way to protect your skin is to wear a sunscreen EVERYDAY! Yes, even rainy days, cloudy days, winter days…. Every. Single. Day.
A 2013 study was the first research in humans to show conclusively that sunscreen can prevent photoaging – the premature aging caused by the sun.
The study is the first clinical trial that directly provided evidence that daily sunscreen use significantly slows skin aging, which includes wrinkles, rough patches, sagging, and skin discoloration.
Did you know that all 4 R+F regimens include sunscreen as part of the daily routine?
There you have it! Five skincare resolutions to get you on your way to the best skin of your life this year!
Curious which Rodan+Fields products are recommended for you? Take this quick skincare consultation to find out now. And once you do, go schedule that appointment with your dermatologist.
p.s. Have questions about your skincare? Feel free to email me at kateandsmalls@gmail.com to arrange a personal skincare consultation.





Just A Mom

Are you “just a mom?” I was ignoring that little voice inside me, telling me I wanted more. But I’m not anymore.

Just A Mom - kateandsmalls.com


Just a Mom

We’ve all done it: made ourselves feel smaller.

My poison of choice: “I’m just a mom.”

At a party, in line waiting for something, any time there was small talk… Someone would eventually ask, “What do you do?” and each time I would reply, “I’m just a mom.”

Why the qualifier? Why did I have to say JUST and discount the work that I, and all moms, do?

Why did I make myself smaller? Click To Tweet

A Lost Identity

I’m not sure if I had been saying for all 8 years I had been a mom or if this was something that came after baby #3. I realized I wasn’t sure about my own identity. I was a mom, but what else?

For as long as I can remember, I have tied my worth to my income earning potential. I babysat the kids across the street before I could drive, I worked through high school, through college, and throughout my first pregnancy.

Then I became a mom. A job that pays in cuddles, giggles, and lots and lots of messes. As happy as I was, I wanted more. And by more, I meant money and a purpose.

I didn’t just want money, I wanted to earn and contribute, to be a partner. My husband parented right alongside me, but he remained the sole earner. We both felt it was important that one of us stay home with the kids and he had the earning potential to support our family. So that’s what we did for several years.

But my need to have that contribution for self-worth never really left.

An Introduction to My Future

When my friend invited me to her Rodan+Fields business launch I went to be supportive, but knew I wasn’t interested. That changed when I saw this before and after photo of a mutual friend, Amy.


Rodan+Fields Before and After - kateandsmalls.com
The before and after photo that made my jaw drop. Starting at the top, these photos were each taken 6 months apart.


I would find a way to afford the products that gave these kind of results!

The Proof is as Clear as the Skin on My Face

A few months later, I ordered the products. My personal skin dilemma: I was pregnant and did not have that mother-to-be glow. After 3 summer pregnancies, my ever-worsening Melasma was affecting my confidence.

After getting my doctor’s approval, I began using Rodan+Fields and I noticed an immediate change in my skin! I could go on and on about the improvements, but this picture is proof.

Personal Before and After with Rodan+Fields
My personal before and after August – February

A Confident, Contributing Entrepreneur is Born

After seeing my own results, I decided to jump into the business. Finding Rodan + Fields has helped me more ways than I ever thought possible.

  • I have the greatest skin of my life.
  • I’m able to bring in a residual income while staying home with the Smalls.
  • I have gained self-confidence.
  •  I am helping others start their own businesses and gaining connections that fill more than just my need to contribute.

The Journey is Worth It

I am a mom first, but no longer need the “just.” I am a mom, wife, daughter, friend, volunteer, blogger, entrepreneur, and so much more. We are all so much more than we give ourselves credit for. Click To Tweet

Do you have a “Just”? Is there something that you have put on the back burner? Let me know in the comments.






Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016

Are you bikini ready? I’m know I’m not! That’s why I’m excited to challenge myself to the Tone It Up Bikini Series, it starts Monday, April 25th! And you should join me… I need all the accountability I can get. Last year I made it halfway through, but this year I want to complete all 8 weeks.


Tone It Up Bikini Series - kateandsmalls.com
Need an accountability partner? Find me on Instagram. Photo: Tone It Up


The beautiful girls at Tone It Up have taken all the guess work out of getting bikini ready — or tankini ready, if you are dealing with some Mommy Tummy, like I am. They have laid out 8 weeks of workouts for FREE. You can watch them from your phone, tablet, computer or stream them to your television. Their workouts are fun and quick, but challenging. The Tone It Up Bikini Series includes a little bit of everything, HIIT, Yoga, Boxing, Barre, Kettlebells, and more. My favorite part is almost all of the workouts can be done at home!

Join me for the Tone It Up Bikini Series!! #tiubikiniseries Click To Tweet


For members of the Nutrition Plan (yes, you have to pay for this part) they have taken the time to create 8 weeks worth of meal plans! All TIU approved meals, snack and even treats to keep you fueled during the Bikini Series.


Tone It Up Bikini Series - kateandsmalls.com
Join the Nutrition Plan for 8 weeks of TIU approved meals. Photo: Tone It Up


I’m all in and I hope you will join me for the next 8 weeks. I’ll be taking the dreaded before pictures this weekend. I don’t enjoy taking them, but it is the best way to see the small changes over the weeks. Plus they are great motivation when you start to get discouraged or wonder why you started in the first place;)


Tone It Up Bikini Series - kateandsmalls.com
I’m all in! Are you? Photo: Tone It Up


Join me and the huge TIU community on Instagram for tons of support and motivation. Follow #tiubikiniseries, #tiuteam to find the latest posts.



p.s. You can check out a little more of my Tone It Up journey here.



Try It: Negative Calorie Detox

Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com

Sugar and caffeine have been the foundation of my food pyramid for the past few months. So when I read about the Negative Calorie Detox from my friend, Lauren, who blogs at Working Mom Magic… I was intrigued. I could drop a couple lbs. and more importantly get a handle on my sweet tooth which had gotten a bit out of control.


I immediately requested Rocco Dispirito’s new book from the library and after a short wait I was reading about this different (but not too different) way of eating and the detox he recommends. This detox would mean giving up coffee, my trusted companion and source of energy… but if I was feeling this way about the caffeine, maybe it was more of an addiction than I wanted to admit and it would be good to break up for a bit.


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
The Negative Calorie Diet by Rocco Dispirito


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
Reading the book in bed with pie… obviously I needed this sugar detox!


I am not a fan of detoxes, but I have successfully completed a few over the years. I’m generally not good with eliminating too much at once. The Negative Calorie Detox was the most generous with what was allowed. I would still be eating real food and drinking 3 smoothies a day. I love smoothies and often start my day or follow up my workouts with one. The recipes in the book looked fantastic, so I planned out which recipes I wanted to try, made my list, bought my ingredients and started to prep.


Doing a detox is all about preparation. You will not be able to just grab something while you are… Click To Tweet


Every meal  smoothie has to be planned for and because you will be looking forward to the one meal you can enjoy a day, it’s best to plan those in great detail too. You will also need a good blender, nothing ruins a smoothie than big chunks of greens.


Here is my day by day account of the Negative Calorie 10 Day  5 Day Detox:


Day 1: Starting out I felt excited and prepared to tackle the day, even if it was without coffee. I chose hot water with lemon and the Cucumber Strawberry Green Smoothie to start the day. The smoothie tasted great and kept me full for a while. Making lunch for the Smalls was a bit challenging, their sandwiches looked amazing in comparison to my Bloody Mary Smoothie. We decided to go strawberry picking in the afternoon. I had to resist the amazing homemade ice cream while the Smalls enjoyed theirs…that was a HUGE challenge for me. But I survived and came home to make a Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie with the fresh strawberries, it was delicious and hit the spot. I felt like I hit the wall around 3pm, I really wanted to eat something or have a cup of coffee. I was tired and my patience was waning. Dinner was a challenge too. I was hungry and the mushroom soup I made was not getting it done. After dinner I really, and I mean REALLY, wanted something sweet. I spotted a Cadbury Cream Egg and could not stop thinking about it. I made a cup of tea and headed to bed to read for a bit. I made it without cheating, but it was not easy by the end of the day.


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
The Smalls strawberry picking.


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
Holliday’s 1st time picking strawberries… she was a natural!


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
The Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie was a hit with the Smalls.


Day 2: Started out rough, really missed my morning cup of coffee. I was feeling the effects from not having my usual cup as soon as I woke up. The dull headache and general fogginess were getting the best of me. I stayed the course and had my smoothie and hot water with lemon. My lunch smoothie was a delightful surprise, the Orange Greensicle was delicious and filling. We had some errands to run and I think being out of the house made it a little easier to not focus on food. For dinner I did a BIG chef salad from the book, it was filling and most importantly it was a meal I could chew!! A cup of tea to finish off the evening and I’m calling Day 2 a success!


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
My favorite the Orange Greensicle Smoothie


Day 3: Today I cheated…sort of. I had my first two smoothies and was still hungry after lunch, maybe it was all the jumping at the indoor trampoline place, maybe it was the fact that I don’t feel satisfied drinking my meals. So I ate the left over salad from the plan for a snack. I did not have my 3rd smoothie since I did feel full and it was time to start prepping the Flank Steak with Mustard Greeens, Horseradish and Apple. This was just what I needed, lots of protein (in chewable form) and tons of flavor. This meal pleased the whole family, well almost the whole family. The youngest was not a fan, but she did try it;) I’m now halfway through the detox (or at least the 5 days I am doing) and feeling decent… not great, but I hope that part comes in the next day or two.


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
The Cucumber Strawberry Green Smoothie was easy to prep. I started each day with this smoothie.

Day 4: I made it through the day and the end is in sight. Nothing new today, except the fact that I was freezing all day. I’m starting to think coffee has been my source of warmth too. It was 70 degrees and I needed a big sweater in addition to my long sleeved workout shirt, I just couldn’t shake the chill. My guess is that 3 frozen smoothies were the cause. I spent a little time in the sun and had a warm bowl of the mushroom soup with the left over flank steak for dinner. I felt full all day and best of all I had NO sugar cravings. The need to have something sweet after dinner was gone. That is HUGE for me and it was the entire purpose of this detox.


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
The Bloody Mary Smoothie… not bad, just not close enough to the real thing.


Day 5: The last day!! I called it quits in time for cocktail hour – it was Friday after all and our 3rd week of Spring Break, mama needed a drink and the Bloody Mary Smoothie was a tease – I wanted the real thing! I started with the my trusty Cucumber Strawberry Green Smoothie, lunch was my favorite Orange Greensicle and I finished up with Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie… because I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it yet! It was so good and felt like a treat… but maybe that was just 5 days of no sugar talking. There are quite a few recipes I will be adding into rotation and many more that I want to try.


Negative Calorie Detox - kateandsmalls.com
I can’t believe I almost missed out on the delicious Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie.


Overall the Negative Calorie Detox was tough but worth it. I was able to break the sugar cycle and hope to continue to watch my sugar consumption. I did lose a few pounds, I noticed my clothes fit a little better and my face looked thinner (not exactly my problem area). I can’t imagine completing anther 5 days… a person can only drink so many smoothies.


I think the actual meal plan is much more doable. The recipes look delicious! I can’t wait to try the Spinach Pesto Pasta with Tomatoes (where you make your own pasta, but it looks surprisingly easy), the Kale, Red Onion and Tomato Frittata, and Pappaprdelle of Chicken with Winter Pesto… seriously looking at this book all week was torture!!


The best part of this detox was how it changed my thinking about the foods I was use to consuming and what the Smalls were eating. They tried and liked most of the smoothies (the Bloody Mary did not go over well). They also made better snack choices throughout the week. Since there were so many fruits and veggies ready for snacking, they were happy to have a plum instead of crackers or celery instead of a granola bar. I was so happy at the small changes they were making on their own. They still wanted treats of course, and I obliged. Everything is fine in moderation, but a few small changes can make a big difference.


Have you ever completed a detox? If so, what did you think? They certainly aren’t for everyone. Follow along with me on Facebook as I attempt to keep my sweet tooth under control and find more yummy clean eating recipes to share!





Project 365 Smalls: March Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com

Project 365 Smalls is in full swing. I have gotten so much better at remembering to take a photo a day for this challenge and love putting together these collages each month. The Smalls are great about reminding me that I haven’t taken their photo each day (they do love the camera, most days)!Check out our March recap for Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge Click To Tweet


Week 1: March brought the return of soccer and soccer practices for Noble. Gray insists on going to practice with him and sometimes wishes she had stayed home where it was warm and not dark, thank goodness Daylight Savings changed that. The Smalls had Donuts for Dad’s one morning at school, which they obviously enjoyed! Holliday now climbs on everything, no place is safe and I fear for her safety daily. Gray continued with ice skating, found out braiding her hair gives her waves, loves the banana phone joke and started “borrowing” my high heels (which is fine, seeing how I rarely wear them). Brad and I enjoyed a ski weekend with friends and on the very day we left, Gray fell on the sidewalk as she was running to the car. She was so excited that Grandma was picking her up, she tripped and scraped her poor nose from her eyebrow to the tip of her nose. Which happened to be right before picture day, so we will always be able to remember it. She was a trooper. The Smalls were spoiled by Grandma that weekend and we had a great time away.

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com


Week 2: This week construction on the home next door began and Holliday is fascinated by all of the big trucks and workers. It was really feeling like Spring, we played outside as much as possible and the Smalls are ready for the pool to be open. Holliday has got the hang of the Plasma Car and is pretty fearless. She is in full toddler mode with tantrums and getting into everything. Brad was traveling so Holliday had to go to drop off each morning and wanted to have a backpack like the big kids. Gray had a project on Pocahontas, she created a Power Point and at the last minute decided to dress the part too – which pleased me, my little girl is still there. While volunteering at the school library, we had a fire drill and I was lucky enough to witness Noble in action. He seems so grown up, not at all like the timid kid I took to the first day of Kindergarten.

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com


Week 3: St. Patrick’s Day, Soccer and the start of our 3 week Spring Break! Holliday had a sick day, which meant lots of cuddles for me. She never stops moving, so I cherished the moments I was able to hold her while she slept. Gray enjoyed cooking breakfast for everyone. She’s a pro at eggs now! While Spring brought some cold temps and lots of friends up North had a dusting of snow, we made our own snow in the bathtub. We had so much fun Painting at the Peach again, all three decorated an egg and enjoyed some frozen yogurt!

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com


Week 4:  Onto week 2 of Spring Break! Gray and Noble enjoyed a day of Farm Camp, they fed animals, went on hayrides, rode ponies, painted pots and planted sunflowers. They had a blast and had to introduce Holliday and I to every animal on the farm when we picked them up. Spring was in full bloom. Easter was laid back, we decorated eggs (you can see how that went here), had many egg hunts inside due to rain, and a great visit from the Easter Bunny! We were able to catch up with friends at the park on a beautiful day and spent a few mornings at the library. It was a great week to wrap up the month.

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge - kateandsmalls.com


Three months down, 9 more to go! You can catch up on Project 365 Smalls January and February. And join the fun on Facebook where I share my random thoughts, love of coffee and share cool things from around the blogosphere.






Try It: Shaving Cream Easter Eggs {My Pinterest Fail & Redemption}

Happy {almost} Easter!! If you have kids, I’m sure you are dying eggs and going on many Easter Egg Hunts this weekend. I wanted to try something new this year, so The Smalls and I attempted Shaving Cream Easter Eggs, we failed miserable but were able to redeem ourselves.


Shaving Cream Easter Eggs {My Pinterest Fail & Redemption}


Like any modern day mom and procrastinator, I turned to Pinterest. There were tons of options, shaving cream or whipped cream, with vinegar or without, dye the eggs first or go natural… decisions, decisions. **We ended up with a combo – because we needed to do this whole process twice. So learn from our mistakes!


Here’s what you will need:

  • hardboiled eggs (cooled)
  • shaving cream
  • food coloring (liquid or gel)
  • vinegar (for more vibrant color)
  • disposable foil pan or rimmed cookie sheet
  • toothpicks
  • paper towels
  • disposable table cloth or newspaper
Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
First attempt supplies. After our Pinterest fail, we added vinegar and LOTS of paper towels.


How to:

  1. To avoid a big messy clean up, I put down a disposable tablecloth we had left over from a birthday party.  I hard-boiled the eggs the day before, so they were cold. Spray shaving cream into foil pan or cookie sheet. You’ll need an inch at most – I learned that the hard way. Attempt one had too much shaving cream.
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Explaining the directions before letting The Smalls dive in.


    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Our 1st attempt fail. We kept 3 and re-dyed the rest


  2. Drop in a generous amount of food coloring. Our first attempt did not have enough color, so for our 2nd attempt we loaded up on the color. **We added a few drops of vinegar and food coloring in a small glass, then used a straw to drop into the shaving cream.
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    2nd attempt with vinegar added for more intense colors


  3. Drag a toothpick through the droplets to create a marbled look. **We kept the colors separated a bit to avoid making everything gray.

    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Mixed the colors with a toothpick a little more for round 2
  4. Now for the messy  fun part! Slowly roll the egg through the shaving cream. Making sure to get all of the egg. **On our 1st attempt we had way too much shaving cream, so the color didn’t adhere to the eggs very well.
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    The fun part, rolling the eggs in the colored shaving cream.


  5. Remove egg from shaving cream and place on a paper plate or paper towel. I used a paper towel inside a casserole dish and the lid to the disposable foil pan to avoid rolling eggs. Let sit. **1st attempt we did 10 minutes. 2nd attempt we did 30 minutes – we really didn’t want to have a Pinterest fail twice!
    Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
    Let eggs dry on paper towels for 30 minutes before wiping off


  6. Wipe off excess shaving cream until eggs are dry. This will require a lot of paper towels. **1st attempt directions said to rinse the eggs and then dry. When we tried this most of the color was washed away.
Shaving Cream Easter Eggs - kateandsmalls.com
The finished product! Happy Easter!


It may have taken us two attempts, but The Smalls loved it. They didn’t have quite the marbled effect I was hoping for but it was a different method and we all had fun. And in the end we still had pretty Easter Eggs to hide. Hopefully my Pinterest fail and edits help you. Happy Easter from our family to yours!!




p.s. To see more Pinterest fails and a few wins, follow kate and smalls on Facebook and of course on Pinterest!




Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge

So it’s already the middle of March. How did that happen? Here’s a late recap of my February Photo A Day Challenge.


Week 1: Much to my liking, February started off with beautiful weather. We played outside as much as possible.  Holliday had her 18 month check up, she is growing and changing each day. Our daily dance parties continued. Super Bowl Sunday was a blast, except when Gray mistook Blue Cheese for Ranch… Noble thought it was hilarious! Noble lost his first tooth during the Super Bowl, so we had a visit from the Tooth Fairy!


Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge


Week 2: Another dose of cold weather brought on colds for almost everyone. The Smalls were getting excited for Valentine’s Day. They made their Valentine’s boxes and I tried my hand at Working Mom Magic’s 5 minute cake pops… they were a success and delicious! Holliday was able to party with Noble’s class, she loved sitting with the big kids. Fun at a bounce house birthday party, nightly dance offs and more ice skating. Gray gave everyone a lesson about Anger Mountain with acceptable ways to let it out (that’s why they are all screaming into pillows)!


Project 365 Smalls: February Picture A Day Challenge


Week 3: More amazing February weather. Holliday is obsessed with belly buttons (and not just her own). The boys headed to Charlotte for LEGO Kids Fest and had a blast while the girls and I stayed home and enjoyed all things girly. Princess movies, tea parties, manicures and I introduced Gray to Full House. I was on my own for the rest of the week while Brad was on a business trip. A week of earlier mornings, packing lunches, and drop off with all 3 kids had me exhausted by 9am! I married a morning person for a reason;) Noble had another visit from the Tooth Fairy and Gray took up permanent residence in my bed each evening to watch Full House… I have created a monster.


Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge


Week 4:  We have another budding artist on our hands, Holliday and I enjoyed an afternoon out Painting at the Peach. She loves to color and write with her brother and sister. Now I have to keep the markers under lock and key. Noble has been reading non-stop, he reads on the way to school, as soon as he gets home and before bed… I love it! Holliday sees the big kids reading so much that I caught her reading to her baby (cuteness overload!) Noble and Gray  spent a Sunday out with Dad, they went bowling and ice skating… but the only pictures were of them eating!! In an effort to declutter, I asked Gray if she was ready to pass down her dollhouse (she hadn’t played with it in months) she proceeded to clean it out and has played with it every day since. Which secretly pleases me so much, she is growing up so fast so I cherish each remaining piece of my little girl. <3


Project 365 Smalls: February Photo A Day Challenge


And that’s it, the shortest month of the year is over and we are well into March! It’s crazy to see how much The Smalls have already changed since I began this challenge in January.  Join me in the challenge, it’s easier to capture everyday moments than I thought! I love that the pictures haven’t be perfect, but they have been perfectly The Smalls! Make sure to join my Facebook page for behind the scenes stuff, fun activities to do with your kids and random ramblings… which is how my mind works;)






Sunday Prep: 5 Steps To A Smoother Week

Sunday Prep: 5 Steps to a Smoother Week

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.”


I adore that quote and as a mom I live by it. In my book, Sundays are meant to relax as a family and get ready for the busy week ahead. Here are my Sunday Prep tips to have a smoother week.


Sunday Prep: 5 Steps to a Smoother Week


Sunday Prep: 5 Steps to a Smoother Week

Pick out clothes for the week: Every Sunday the Smalls and I pick out 5 outfits for the week. We take into consideration the weather and PE days as they select their clothes for the week, all the way down to underpants, socks, shoes, and hair accessories. We hang each outfit on a hanger and hang them in each of their closets in order from left to right. Then each morning they can quickly get dressed on their own. It’s a huge time saver and helps reduce arguments over what to wear since they do not wear uniforms to school.


Sunday Prep: Picking out clothes for the week

Sunday Prep: Picking out clothes for the week


I do the same for myself. I set out 5 workout outfits and regular outfits for the week. Some days don’t require both, so they carry over to the next week. I’m not nearly as detailed in my own attire as the kids, but I do cover the basic outfit components which saves me from my indecisiveness in the morning hours.


Sunday Prep: Workout clothes for the week


Meal Plan and Prep: I usually meal plan on Wednesday when the new grocery store sales begin. Then I begin making our list and our online grocery order (This has saved me so much time and money. No impulse purchases and I can add to it during the week as we run out of things or special requests.)

Sundays are spent prepping hard boiled eggs, quinoa, chicken, cutting up fruits and veggies to be used during the week. I also take into account what our evenings look like with sports and other events. I premake  3 or 4 lunches for my husband and I, otherwise we make poor food choices, skip meals or go out to eat.


Sunday Prep: Meal Prep


Backpack Check: Since we have 2 in school, there are always papers to be signed, things to be returned, library books, and on and on. We go through their binders on Friday after school and I try to sign everything, take out their reusable snack bags so they can be washed and put away/throw away all of the worksheets and artwork that comes home. If I don’t deal with it immediately it starts to pile up.

Sunday night we make sure all library books are in the backpack and they pick out 5 snacks to take for the week. We put Monday’s snack in their backpack so the only thing they have to add in the mornings are their lunchboxes.


Sunday Prep: Backpacks ready


Planner Update: I’m a total planner nerd! I love a pretty planner and this year I am LOVING the Hourly Week Layout of my Erin Condren LifePlanner – save $10 on your own planner here. Since we have many appointments, business meetings, training calls, practices, birthday parties, classroom responsibilities, and travel commitments between 5 people, having an hourly breakdown has helped me keep things orderly and on track.

On Sunday, I fill in the details of our week and make sure we are all on the same page. I transfer important reminders for the following week, put my top 3 must do’s in the margins and pretty it up with some cute stickers. It takes 15 minutes and I enjoy it.


Sunday Prep: Planner updates for the week
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Sunday Prep: Planner Update


Plan Workouts: The only way I have been able to stick with exercising over the last year is my planning for my workouts. If you don’t know about my love for TIU now you can read more about it here. One of my favorite things is that they put together a weekly schedule and give a few options.

The new schedule is released every Sunday. I check it out and then look at my own schedule and commitments for the week. I follow as closely to their published schedule as possible, it’s easier that way. I select the quicker workouts on my busier days and make any adjustments to classes or runs depending on the weather (I loathe the treadmill, so I try to avoid it as much as I can.). By setting up my workout schedule, I am less likely to skip a workout or get stuck in a rut of doing the same workouts.


Sunday Prep: 5 Steps to a Smoother Week


With a little bit of prep and planning our week runs so much smoother. I am not at all a morning person (working on it), so getting up and going before my tiny human alarm clocks doesn’t happen often. Having things set up for smooth mornings has been key to not running around like a crazy person before school. Knowing everyone has what the need to have a successful week makes life much easier on all of us.


Hope these tips can help you too! Please share with anyone that could use a smoother start to their week!





Word A Day Blog Challenge: Acceptance

Word A Day Challenge

I have decided to challenge myself this month by joining Verified Mom‘s Word A Day Blog Challenge. As I’m learning more about blogging, I have found content is key. The problem with that is I am often struck with writer’s block. So I’m hoping that joining this challenge will help with my writing and hold me accountable to actually completing it. If you are looking to start writing or need some help with getting the writing juices flowing, join us this month. Today’s word is Acceptance.

Word A Day Challenge Prompts
Word A Day Challenge Prompts from @Verified Mom


When I think of acceptance, I think of a desire. Something most people want. People long for acceptance.


From a very early age we want to be liked and accepted by our peers. The middle school and high school years are the worst. You feel weird and you wonder if everyone else thinks you are weird. The thing is, everyone is awkward at those ages and wondering the same thing. If you are lucky you find a group that accepts your weirdness (because we are ALL weird) and if you are really lucky you find a group that celebrates that weirdness. Because it may not feel like it during the middle or high school years, but #weirderisbetter!!


As we grow up our desire for acceptance doesn’t go away. We want to be accepted by our partner, our work colleagues, our community, and our friends. But we are stronger in our convictions and know that we don’t have to agree with everyone or like all of the same things to be accepted. Our social circles would be very boring if we were only hanging out with people who thought and acted just like us.


True acceptance is being able to respect people for who they are without conditions. Accept people for their limitations. Accept that everyone is flawed. Accept that people may never change. If we accepted people more for who they truly are, the world would be a much better place.


And most importantly, we should all strive for self-acceptance. Knowing that you are good. That you are enough. That you have value to offer. Accept who you are. Be true to yourself and you will always find your people. The ones that celebrate the weirdly, wonderful you.






Project 365 Smalls: January Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge January

I did it!! I successfully completed the first month of my Project 365 Smalls: photo a day challenge. Taking one photo of each kid EVERY SINGLE DAY in the month of January. It wasn’t exactly hard, but there were some days that I remembered right at bedtime – note sleeping and/or pajama clad children.


Week 1: We were getting into our groove of taking a photo a day. The Smalls were still on Winter Break, so I had all day to snap a photo. We were getting ready to go back to school, so they needed haircuts. And the only way to entertain the littlest one during those haircuts was to feed her, notice those chipmunk cheeks! Holliday started giving hugs this week and I was able to catch that sweet moment with her brother! We did a packing night at NourishNC, a local organization that helps feed hungry children in our area. I love that they willing to have the Smalls help and the Smalls enjoy doing it and can’t wait to go back.


Project 365 Smalls - A photo a day challenge


Week 2: Our last few days of Winter Break, we enjoyed lazy movie days and playing at home. Gray went to a sleepover. Back to school and our regular routine. Holliday certainly missed them those first few days, she kept checking their rooms. She kept herself busy with many games of Peek-A-Boo and playing with all their toys.


Project 365 Smalls - A Photo a Day Challenge


Week 3: This week it was Noble’s turn for a movie and a sleepover. While he was gone, Gray and I had a spa night. Holliday has been getting into everything!! Welcome to toddlerhood where everything is a challenge. Football ruled our weekend. Gray and I were disappointed our Steelers didn’t make it to the Championship and Noble was bummed Green Bay didn’t get there either.


Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge


Week 4: This was the week I was reminded how fast they are growing up. Another sleepover for Gray, Birthday party for Noble and Preschool registration for Holliday!! Noble learned how to tie his shoes. Gray and I had a great girls day, she really is a little lady and a pleasure to take out. I need to be better about taking the older two out on special adventures more regularly. We enjoyed a few days of warm January weather with lots of time outside.


Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge


Week 5: January went by really fast. The last week was pretty normal, thankfully we were able to stay outside a lot. Noble helped rake leaves… and was actually a big help! Holliday figured out how to climb onto the Lego table, much to the dislike of her brother. And we enjoyed a weekend without any plans!! Which happens so rarely, we were able to have lots of family time and enjoy the amazing weather.


Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge


One month down…11 to go!! I am really enjoying capturing these moments and can’t wait to see what the finished project looks like. It’s not too late to join me and challenge yourself to a photo a day in February (it’s the shortest month, so why not give it a try) use #365smalls to let me know you are in!

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge January