The Lazy Girls Guide to iPhone Photos

The Lazy Girls Guide / great iphone photos Lazy Girls Guide because; who has time for that anyways, short and sweet is always best and it shouldn’t be complicated it’s not rocket science. Basically my reasoning for the name and most things in life—though the name is not crazy original, it fits too well not to add it to the H+H line up.
For all the reasons listed above, The Lazy Girls Guide will hopefully become a regular occurrence around here—covering a wide range of topics I personally want to know more about but just don’t have time to learn rocket science. If you come around here often you know I like life to be very uncomplicated, but also enjoy it when it’s perfect (or my version of perfect)—which I assume you do too, if you are coming back.
And hey, iPhone photos are no different so here is my really quick (3 step) lazy guide to getting great photos with the iPhone. READ MORE



Clear Your Mind Space / 01

clear your mind space 01 When I have a full to do list, things that I know I need to do, tasks that overwhelm me at the thought, or circumstances I just can’t get out of my mind they literally drag me down. Even the smallest tasks sometimes take up highly sought after real estate in my brain (really it’s expensive real estate). In order to get to the important and often really creative tasks on my list (or mind) I need to cross off the smaller ones so I can gain some focus back.

In an effort to help everyone clear out the dust, the negative, the often put off items and the sometimes peace of mind items that are taking up precious brain space, there is a new series for that. Most likely these posts will be short and pretty simple things we (because ME TOO) can do or start over the week or weekend, a long list would just add to the clutter – no?

Make Actionable To-Do Lists

Start with 3 lists: Home, Work and Dreams.
Write tasks you need to get done under each, make each point short and actionable. Each point should be a single step in a long task, instead of the whole high level task – make it easy to cross off/give yourself a break. The simple act of cross things off lists, frees up a bit of mind space and it gives you “yes I’m flipping awesome” to move forward and do more.

Break down those 3 lists (even more): Into a Weekly or Daily list (whatever works best for you) where you spread out the actionable tasks you just wrote down, over days and weeks.
Make a plan and try to stick to it. Many times there are items that move from list to list day after day (or week after week), till you can cross it off. But at least it’s moving? Every night go and cross things off and scribble a quick list of things that need to get down for the next day. Make sure to include dream things, don’t wait till your to-do’s are free and clear to start those – just add them in, those are easily as important as the day-to-day tasks.

Many might say this all falls under “anal retentive list making” and hey, they probably aren’t wrong. But guess what, it works – well it helps keep things focused rather than thinking about all the 10 million things you need to do. The act of writing something down, gets it out of your mind and helps to clear some space. Right now my mind is congested and sick, so hopefully this makes some sense!

Figured I’d start the week with a bang, Happy Monday! What do you guys think? Looking forward to some tips to clear your mind space? Do you have anything special you do that would be a great addition? I always love your input.

You should also check out: The Year to Take Care of You, How to Catch Optimist Syndrome, How to Make Your Mornings Better and How to Get Yourself Outta a Funk.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR MORNINGS BETTER

become-a-morning-person1 Similar to the How To Make Mornings With Kids Run Smoothly post, except this one is all about you. Since this whole year is all about you-ish, right? If your morning is better, everyone else in the house will at the very least have a pretty great head start on the right morning track too – unless there happens to be some wrong side of the bed waking up, then you’re probably just a little screwed. Before starting I should add I am naturally a morning person, BUT even if I wasn’t I think these things might help me to like the morning maybe even a teeny tiny bit more, but really what do I know.

GET TO BED EARLY

Set yourself a dream bedtime, then set yourself a real life bedtime (which is still early) – let’s call that one the back up bedtime. Shoot for the early time, your dream time and find a happy medium between that and your more realistic (back up) time. Some nights you might hit the pillow early (dreamy), but really the key is to, get enough sleep! And if you need help getting sleep, I’m a very seasoned non-sleeper so I have some tips on how to catch some zzzz’s.

DON’T JUMP OUTTA BED

Easier said then done, especially if you wake up to an alarm and fall back asleep easily (I’m looking at you Chris). Try and shoot for a slooooower wake up. Open your eyes and just sorta soak things in before getting up. Let your eyes adjust to the light, wipe the drool off your face (no? just me then), DO NOT REACH FOR YOUR PHONE (that is me yelling at myself). Smile, stretch and then get up before you start stressing and thinking about the day ahead or the night (of maybe poor sleep) behind you. Basically, give yourself at least 2-5 minutes to pretend it’s the weekend. Slow and steady most definitely wins the race when it comes to getting out of bed in the morning.

yoga WAKE UP BEFORE EVERYONE

It sounds totally ridiculous and it sorta is (I think I tipped this one, in the mornings with kids post, too), but then once you try it out and have those sweet, blissful moments of quiet all to yourself, it really doesn’t feel so silly. I personally looove waking up way before everyone, I get the last few things put in everyone’s lunches, pack everyone’s backpacks and prep their breakfasts. Then I sneak out to a really really early morning yoga class – and let the kids and Chris sleep a little longer. If this all sounds totally insanely ridiculous, I won’t tell you what time I willingly wake up to do all this. But I will tell you, it’s awesome having quiet time just for me it sets my day on the right foot and I rarely ever fell tired because I did it (though I can’t be totally certain either).

YOGA OR JUST EXERCISE

I’m a broken record, I just can’t help myself! And hey I know, yoga maybe just isn’t for everyone. But maybe something else is more your cup of tea? Try the waking up before everyone trick and fit in a short practice or workout. Hit up your local gym (I know our local GoodLife Fitness opens way early and has classes at the crack of dawn), the closest studio or workout in the comfort and quiet of your sleeping home. Whatever you prefer, getting the workout/practice in before the day officially starts is amazing, it will give you so much energy and then you don’t have to try and find time (or talk yourself out of it) later on.

become-a-morning-person3 HOT LEMON WATER

Maybe even with a tiny dash of Cayenne? Crazy talk, I know. Before you have coffee, or breakfast reach for a hot lemon water first. The hot lemon water kick starts your digestive system, helps strengthen your immune system, balances out your pH levels, and yet there is still a list of other great things it does for your bod (see for yourself). Basically, there is no reason not to do it.

breakfast EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

Even if you aren’t hungry, eat something. I am OBSESSED with grapefruits (one everyday for the past 8 years of so, sorta obsessed) I usually have one and a bowl of overnight oats (different versions depending on what’s on hand). Put some yummy fuel in your body, keep it from reaching starvation mode a little later and it’s just a nice ritual to sit down and eat in the morning. Mmmmm grapefruit.

prep-lunches PREP LIFE THE NIGHT BEFORE

Avoid some of that morning rush and prep whatever you can every single night. Clothes, toothbrushes with toothpaste on them, portions of lunches, anything you can do to make the next day (when you are sleepy) go so much smoother. Also make sure you DO THE DISHES before you go to bed, this is me yelling at myself again.

Do you do anything that that makes your morning, better? Are you a morning person? If not, what would make you (semi, sorta even a little bit) like the mornings?

SHOPPING RULES 102

shopping rules 102 | shop sales so they are a good deal It’s been a while since I shared a bit about how I shop, and some of the rules that have formed along the way. Rules that really help me evaluate each purchases, steer away from excess, and keep monthly bills in check.

Following up on Shopping Rules 101 where I talked about how my shopping perspective has changed, a golden rule for living comfortably and my two major shopping rules. Let’s talk sales, who doesn’t love a good sale? Every one. The only problem with most sales is that you walk in and buy things just because they are on sale, and then you are stuck with all these “things”. And who needs more things? No one.

IF YOU DON’T NEED IT, IT’S NOT A DEAL

  • Sales are great and saving money is even better. But buying things just because they are on sale, things that you maybe don’t need or love (going back to shopping rules 101) both isn’t great and it isn’t saving money. If you wouldn’t buy it at full price, then don’t buy it on sale – easy. Or even better, if you NEED it or LOVE it as a full price item, then definitely snatch it up on sale. If you can’t answer yes to either of those questions when sale shopping, well then don’t buy it.
  • Stocking up on items you use on a regular basis when they go on sale, can be really great. This is great for perishable food items, household, beauty products and sometimes clothing (like seasonal clothing when it goes on sale) – but stocking up is only a good idea if you remember down the road that you stocked up. From my experience, unless it is something you will use often (something you need) and it is in plain view you might just forget you stocked up, and then go and re-buy down the road forgetting you had a stock pile. So again, be choosy – if it’s something you need and the sale is amazing, sure buy 5 tubes of toothpaste but keep them somewhere you’ll notice.

KEEP A LIST

  • In order to keep my needs and wants in check, and to make sale shopping easy (less fighting crowds). I have shopping lists that I carry around with me where ever i go, that way if I come across a good deal I can look at my list to see what we need before the prices cloud my judgement (and before the crowds make me crazy).
  • I keep separate running lists of items (you can use your notepad in your phone, or carry a little book with you) we need for the home, items each individual needs, and things we want (either for the home or personally). You could even get all crazy and write a budgeted amount beside each of the items, that way when you do find it on sale you can compare and know you are saving on something you already need.

What do you think? Do you love sale shopping, or totally hate it?  Have you tried following the shopping 101 rules?