A WORKING MOM NIGHTLY ROUTINE

I often get asked the question, “how do you have the time?”  This is a valid question, and I think it’s one that all women deal with on a regular basis.  I am a full time working mom to two under the age of 5, a wife AND a part time blogger.  As a family where both of us work outside of the home, we are always searching for ways to simplify our routines and make things easier all around.  I think a large part of what makes our nightly routine work is the partnership that my husband and I have.  Everything is very much a team effort. . . except on nights when he is traveling for work.  On those nights only prayers and wine will get me through.  And the help of family – life lesson, ACCEPT THE HELP when offered!

I realize everyone’s situations are vastly different, but I hope that me sharing our nighttime routine with you will help provide you with new ideas (or just to know that you’re not alone)!

some e cards funny mom quotes

someecards just keeping it real!

SNACKTIME +PLAYTIME

Yes, you’re reading that right.  We give our kids a snack BEFORE dinner.  One of us picks the kids up from daycare around 5:30 – 5:45 and they are always super hungry when we walk through the door.  The snack is light in hopes that it doesn’t spoil dinner.  We try to stick to things like Cheerios, fruit strips (we love these from Target), or a granola bar.

Once snack time wraps up (typically around 6:00) we have a little play time.  One of us plays (usually me), while the other preps dinner. If the weather is nice we spend time outside or going on a quick walk.  If not, then we play inside and try to do activities that don’t involve screens.  Our kids really love puzzles these days so we spend a few minutes doing that until dinner is ready, usually around 6:30-6:45.

DINNERTIME

Plan your meals in advance!  This is something we are still striving to do better, but the simple act of just writing out what we will eat all week for dinner every night helps us to stay on track. I try to do this on Sunday’s before grocery shopping.   I would love to get to a point where we are meal prepping on Sunday’s but we just aren’t there yet. #goals

Meal Planning Template

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Once I have our dinner meal list in order, we hit the grocery store or Walmart curbside pick up.  🙂  Download the Walmart Grocery App to see if the service is available in your area.  I promise its the quickest and most convenient way to shop.  It allows me to have more time for my family and to do the things that I want to do on the weekend instead of spending time in a store shopping.  If it’s not a service in your area, another thing I love is that most grocery stores offer a free cookie from the bakery when shopping with kids!  So if you’re shopping with your little one(s), be sure to check and see if your local grocery store offers such a treat!  I promise it makes shopping easier!

We try to make 3 meals each week in order to have leftovers for dinners/lunches throughout the week.  I love these glass Pyrex food storage set with lids because when we are done we just portion them out so that I can take to work for a lunch or have for dinner again one night that week.  On nights where we don’t actually make something then we have something like this.

Some of our go to meals are. . .

BATHTIME

We are an every other bath night family here.  Depending on how the night is going usually determines if the kids bathe together or separately.  Lately we have been on the separate schedule because Layla wants to shower more than take a bath these days.  Henry typically goes to bed earlier (7:30-7:45) so we tend to do his bath first.  Another tag team effort by us, one of us handles bath, while the other plays.  This is typically the time of night where Layla gets a little bit of screen time before she heads up for her bath/shower.

Side note, we recently switched to Beauty Counter’s Kids Bath Collection and it has been great!  The shampoo doesn’t cause tears when it’s time to rinse and it smells great too!  Both kids have spent a ton of time in the pool this summer, and the conditioner has been awesome (especially for my daughter).  Click the link below to shop!

BEDTIME

Before we even start story time, I always lay out an outfit for each kiddo to wear the next day.  It’s one less thing to do in the morning, and if Dad is the one getting them ready in the a.m. then this is helpful to EVERYONE! 😉 .

Some of Henry’s current favorite books are, Pout Pout Fish, What a Wonderful World, and Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night.  Layla has been loving Princesses Wear Pants and The Day the Crayons Quit.

ME-TIME / PLAN AHEAD TIME

Exhale, you made it!  Now you are rewarded with endless amounts of mindless TV, wine, working on your side hustle, whatever YOUR heart desires!

For me, I usually spend the 8:30-9:30 time frame sitting in front of my computer either in our office or parked on the couch with the hubs.  I realize to some this may sound strange, but my blog is MY outlet and my passion and I truly look forward to the time I get to work on it.  Whatever your passion is, find it and make sure you spend some time to yourself doing it.

I find it super helpful to prep for the next day.  For me, it is making sure my daughters dance bag is packed and ready on Tuesday nights because dance is on Wednesday right after daycare.  Maybe you have an important meeting at work the next day, plan your outfit the night before to avoid outfit frustration in the morning.

Lastly, something I’ve been doing even before kids, shower at night!  I love this because I can sleep a few extra winks in the morning and not have to mess with blow drying my hair!  I shower at night and then let it air dry and style it in the morning.  I think this is a win win because I’m avoiding the damaging heat of a blow dryer – woot woot!  I also don’t wash my hair every night.  I’m an every other and on nights where I don’t wash it, I just throw on a cute lil shower cap like this!

NIGHTLY ROUTINE TAKEAWAYS

Moral of the story, try to plan ahead as much as you can.  If you can do something ahead of time that will make the actual moment easier, then why not do it?  I summed up my 5 key takeaways to a smoother nightly routine below!  Be sure to pin this and save it for later when you need a reminder!

What works for you?  I would love to hear!  Comment below.

working mom nightly routine

 

Also, if you’re in search of an easy breakfast for your toddlers, be sure to check out this post!

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Q + A (Momming, Working, Side Hustling)

Hey friends hey!  I have been wanting to do another Q + A post for awhile now since I know there are  some new faces around here.  I also think posts like this are fun to read!  Hopefully this helps you get your Monday off to a great start!

Do you work full time & what do you do?

Yes, I work full time for a shoe company as an ecommerce site experience specialist.  I manage a couple of different brands and make sure that these websites provide an easy and elevated shopping experience to all of our customers.  I have worked in digital marketing/ecommerce in some capacity for the last 10 years and it has been fun to watch this industry evolve.

ecommerce site experience specialist

Photo cred:  Woven Bone Photography

How, why & when did you start your blog?

Emmy Lou Styles is an idea that had been brewing in my mind for a couple of years, but sort of got put on hold once we had our kiddos.  However, in September 2017 ELS officially launched!

Back in 2012 I had a little blogspot account where I documented our home renovation and DIY projects.  I’ve had the blogging bug for awhile.

I started ELS because this “bug” didn’t go away.  I’m by no means the most creative or best dressed person out there, but I do have this side to me and my blog is my way of expressing those ideas.

emmy lou styles blog

How do you find time for your side hustle?

I believe that if you have a passion for something, then you find the time.  The time I put into my blog definitely ebbs and flows depending on what life has thrown my way at an given time, but for the most part, I spend a lot of my weeknights on my laptop / phone after the kids go to bed.  Even before ELS started, I spent a lot of time on my computer at night doing many of the same things (i.e. online retail browsing/shopping, reading other blogs, scrolling Pinterest, etc).  The hubs is usually on the couch next to me and we sometimes turn on our latest Netflix binge at the same time.

I believe in old school pen and paper too.  I use a paper planner to try and plan out my content for about 2 weeks at a time (I’d love to get better at this and plan further out), however I’m not quite there yet.  I try to write out most of my IG copy on Sunday nights using the notepad on my phone (I find copy/paste works best using this).

Who takes your IG & blog pics?

This is a question I get asked A LOT.  The majority of my pics are taken by my husband on my iPhone 8 Plus.  We also have an Olympus E-M10 Mark III camera which I love!  It has an awesome app for your phone which allows you to quickly transfer the pics from the camera onto your phone, plus it takes great photos.

I usually try to have the hubs take some shots on Sunday afternoons when our youngest is napping.  But I also take my own (selfies, mirror selfies).  Side note, prior to starting this blog, I could probably count on one hand the amount of selfies I took of myself and actually put out into the worldwide web.

I also occasionally use professional photographers depending on what I need shots of, and so far most of these cases have been pro bono.

Number 1 piece of advice for new moms?

Don’t take advice!  You have to not get bogged down in all the things people will tell you, and modify / adapt advice based your baby.  Trust your gut, afterall, mama knows best!

Where do you typically shop for yourself?

Target – usually my go to for casual/work appropriate dresses!

universal thread red dress with buttons

Red Dress

Madewell – the best jeans!  I can’t believe I only discovered these magical jeans in the last year!

ASOS – trendier / fun pieces for events or the occasional night out!  Accessories too!

straw boater hat

Straw Boater Hat

Red Swimmie

H&M – depends on the season, but I usually have a lot of luck with sweaters here!

Forever 21 – trendy pieces that I don’t plan on wearing for long!

Old Navy – basics!

Gap – you can always find quality tops that pair great with denim!

Where do you shop at the most for the kids?

Target – Cat and Jack basics!

Old Navy – I love their mix and match shorts and tees (or pants and tees) depending on the season!

H&M – super cute affordable swimwear!

Do you have a workout routine?

Not really.  I take barre classes at The Bar Method when I can and I really enjoy this, but I’m looking for more cardio lately.  I plan to sign up for Class Pass soon so I can try out some new things and figure out what I like.  Suggestions are welcomed!

How tall are you and what size do you wear?

5’3″, 24/25 in most denim brands, XS/S in tops and 0/2 in dresses.

How old are you?

Halfway to 70.  Do the math.  Ewwww.

Thanks for stopping by and please let me know if you guys like posts like this!  If you have more questions you want me to answer, please comment below!  Have a great week!

 

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A Healthy Breakfast for Toddlers

This post is sponsored by Happy Family, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Let’s face it, we are ALL busy!  As a working mom, I am always on the look out for a healthy and fast breakfast that I can serve my kids before heading out the door to start our day.  I recently discovered the Happy Family brand at Walmart, specifically the Happy Tot Super Morning Bowls.  Bonus, many Walmart Stores now offer curbside pick up so you can shop online and then schedule a time for pick up!

What makes Happy Tot Super Morning Bowls a healthy breakfast?

Happy Tot Super Morning Bowls are the perfect healthy on the go breakfast for toddlers.  These oatmeal bowls come ready-to-eat and are filled with gluten-free oats, sprouted quinoa, and chia for Omega-3s.  My favorite part of this healthy breakfast is the fact that there are 0g of added sugar!

walmart happy tot super morning bowls

Happy Tot Super Morning Bowls contain organic fruits for a natural sweetness. You can serve these straight out of the bowl or gently warmed (approx. 20 seconds or so).

microwaving happy tot super morning bowls

How many flavors do the Super Morning Bowls come in?

These bowls come in two flavors:  apples and blueberries and bananas and strawberries. We tried both, but so far the apple and blueberry version has been a big hit in our house!

toddler eating happy tot super morning bowl

toddler eating happy tot super morning bowl

Click here for a $1 off coupon!

Does Happy Family offer other breakfast options?

Yes!  There are so many other healthy and nutritious options for your babies, toddlers and preschoolers!  Whole Milk Yogurt, Soft Baked Oat Bars, and Chickpea Straws are some of our faves as well.  I love these snacks because they are packable in my purse when we are on the go!  Super Morning Bowls can be eaten on the go too because they can be eaten right out of the bowl!

happy family foods for on the go

Here’s to a stress free morning with you and yours!  Give the Happy Tot Super Morning Bowls a try today!

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Greetabl – A Personalized Gift Box

Thank you to Greetabl for gifting me with this awesome Greetabl of my own to share with you.

personalized greetabl

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I’m sure you’re on the hunt for something special for all of the mom’s in your life. Well, let me introduce you to Greetabl. Greetabl is an online one-stop shop for creative and personalized gifts and greetings that are personalized with pictures. One of their mottos is “Better than a greeting card. More personal than flowers.” It is a simple three step process and you end up with a personalized Greetabl that is sent directly to the deserving recipient.

personalized greetabl

Build

Choose the print that you want your Greetabl box to have. There are TONS of patterns, colors and scripts to choose from. There is most certainly something for everyone on your list!

paris rose greetabl print

paris rose print by greetabl

Personalize

In the personalize step you get to pick the gift that you want to send. There are so many unique and fun things to choose from. Candles, bath bombs, chocolates, and socks to name a few. Prices range from $3 up to $30.

Next, it’s time to add in your pictures and personal greeting. There is room to add up to three pictures that the recipient can tear off and keep. If you don’t want to add pics that’s fine too, the pattern will just be printed on those sections.

personalized greetabl

Review

In the review step, it’s exactly as it sounds.  Proofread your copy, double check your pictures and you’re good to go.  You can now enter the address for the lucky recipient and Greetabl will send on your behalf for them to receive!

greetabl you got this socks

you got this socks from greetabl

the personalized gift company called greetabl

Pictures by Liz Olson Photography

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Q&A Session

I have no idea if anyone will actually read this Q&A session, but if there happen to be a few of you that visit my blog and follow along then I truly thank you. 🙂  Social media is most certainly a blessing and a curse as we all know. It can sometimes be a deep dark hole of time wasted and senseless comparison.  But it can also be something so amazing in that you can connect with others that are like you.  I have followed bloggers for years now and I love when they share more of a glimpse into their personal lives versus just the highlight reel of perfect pictures that you see on an IG feed.

blogger q&a session

Photo credit:  Emily Johnson Photography

Earrings

When I started blogging and why

I officially started blogging in September 2017.  As a working mom of two, who is well into my career at this point, I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my professional life. I find writing therapeutic and I love styling my outfits and hunting for unique pieces, thus the birth of Emmy Lou Styles. I love sharing my outfits and inspo with others and I truly am here to help YOU.  I find this blogging community absolutely fascinating because I feel like a virtual personal shopper which is kind of what I always dreamed up in my head for myself, but didn’t understand how to bring that to life.  Technology is simply amazing!

I regret not starting my blog sooner, but I’m relieved that I finally did it.  In 2012 I attempted to start a DIY/Furniture flip type of blog, but I didn’t feel like I had enough to talk about.  And after several months of trying to get that blog up and going, we became pregnant with our daughter and this part of my life was put on hold.

My family

q & a session

Photo Credit:  Liz Olson Photography

I am married to my college sweetheart (10 years married this September)!  We have had our share of ups and downs just like everyone else (no marriage is perfect), but I believe laughter is the best medicine.  He makes me laugh like no other, and he balances out my worry-wart nature.  He is the best “IG husband” and the one behind all of the pics you see in my feed.  We actually make a great blogging team – he has always had an interest in photography and actually understands how to work a camera unlike myself.

We are very blessed to have two happy and healthy kiddos!  Our son is 1.5 and our daughter is 4.  It’s so fun having a girl and a boy!  Admittedly, I was terrified to have a boy.  I was scared of not knowing how to change his diaper and just overall not understanding a boy.  But I’m here to tell you all the things that people told me ARE in fact true.  Boys love their mommies more than anything in the world.  He is getting to the age where he plays hard, but always has time to break and come over and give me an unprompted hug.   Our daughter is the best big sis and such a sweet girl.  She has bit of sass and has sometimes even been described as bossy.  But you know what, I’m ok with her being a little bossy.  I think it’s a trait that will serve her well, and as a mom I will do my best to keep that bossiness in check so that she has just the right amount of it, haha. #girlboss

Sadly, our 13 year old pooch passed away just this week.  We are heartbroken that she is no longer with us, but we are so glad to have had 12 special years (we got her when she was 1) with our loyal and patient pup.  I will be the first to admit, I wasn’t her “pack leader” that was definitely my husband.  After having kids, sadly dogs tend to take bit of the back seat and our home was no different.  But Bella was such a sweet girl to our kiddos and she will always be in our hearts.  I found this quote this week and it hit home with me. . .“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”  I have never been through the loss of a pet, but it has been one of the most heartbreaking experiences.  Our house has an empty feeling right now, and I know that will fade with time.  We say we won’t get another pup until the kids are old enough to help out, but time will tell.

Photo credit:  Cheryl M Photography

Professional Life

Oh man, where do I even begin.  I have been in the digital marketing world for the last 12 years.  I had a brief stint with outside sales right out of college and quickly decided it wasn’t for me.  I have been lucky enough to be a part of this fast moving digital marketing / tech world through some of the various employers I have worked for.  I currently work as an ecommerce marketing specialist for a shoe company.  I love getting to work in an industry related to fashion, and being a part of the ecommerce world.  My blogging life and my professional life truly fit well together.  A lot of what I’ve learned through the years has helped me to build and launch my own site, but also vice versa. It has felt so good to “own” something and build it from the ground up.   My blogging life is also teaching me a lot about the ecommerce world and it helps me to bring ideas and knowledge to my 8-5 life too.

If you made it to here, you’re the best!  I look forward to sharing more with you here in my little corner closet of the internet.  🙂  Please feel free to say hello in the comments below!

 

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