I don’t need to tell you running two businesses and being parents renders life completely chaotic. Because you probably figured that, right!? Ha! Well since becoming parents, Jeff and I have learned a LOT and one thing we’ve really tuned into is how to be as productive and efficient as we can so our lives run as smoothly as possible. Through trial and error, we’ve made five easy, minor changes that have simplified our lives GREATLY! Like, game changers. And today, I partnered with Ivory, whose motto is to “give consumers peace of mind,” to share those changes, in hopes of helping some of you who might be feeling overwhelmed!
1. Simple Sunday Meal Prep: I don’t want you to read “meal prep” and immediately shut down, like I always do. I always wonder “how do people have a WHOLE ENTIRE DAY to prep their food for the week!?” I sure don’t. But I can manage to squeeze in an hour and here’s what I do. First, I prepare breakfast for the week. Arlo and I both eat eggs every morning so I make either egg cups or an egg bake (Quick recipe: 1 dozen eggs, various veggies, a handful of cheese + seasoning, pour into a brownie pan or muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes for the pan and 10-15 minutes of the cups!). I pop a few slices or cups into the fridge and the rest in the freezer. BAM! No cooking every morning.
The second thing I do is buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. I put single-size servings into little food storage containers and divide them between the fridge and freezer. We use these for Arlo (alone, mixed with pasta, etc.) and for us (tacos, mixed into bowls, on salads, etc.) and it takes one major step out of dinner prep. These two things are so simple and only take about an hour, but have made a huge difference for us. I’d love to continue building the time I have to meal prep on Sundays but for now, this is a great first step!
2. Streamline Products for Us + Baby: This change has a two-fold impact. When you bring a baby into your home, the amount of “stuff” you need pretty much triples. In addition to all the food and wellness products you buy for yourself, you now have to buy another set for babies… never mind the toys, contraptions, clothes, the works. It’s overwhelming. To curb this, we started switching many of the household products Jeff and I use to ones we can use on all three of us. This includes our laundry detergent, cleaning products and bath products. We figured, if they aren’t safe enough to be used on him, maybe we shouldn’t be using them too. And I’m grateful for that lightbulb moment!
When Ivory approached me about trying their products, the first thing I looked at was if all three of us could use them. And the answer was YES! All three products we tried, the Ivory Original 3-bar, the Ivory Original Body Wash and the Ivory Free & Gentle Body Wash with Pear & Sandalwood, are pure and gentle. The Ivory Original 3-bar and Ivory Original Body Wash are free of dyes and heavy perfumes. The Ivory Free & Gentle Body Wash with Pear & Sandalwood was my personal favorite. It’s free of dyes and parabens, it’s nourishing to the skin and includes the #1 Dermatologist-Recommended moisturizing ingredient. Knowing this gave me so much confidence using it on our whole family.
Only having to buy one product of so many daily-use items is wonderful. Not only does it save brain-space and physical space, but money, too!
3. Shared To-Do Lists: If I could tell you the number of times Jeff and I have gone to the store only to come home and realize we forgot ten things. It’s a repetitive cycle and so frustrating when you’re short on time. We finally downloaded a to-do list app where we can share a list of items we need with each other. That way, anytime we need something, we immediately add it to the list. Then, whenever one of us is at the grocery store, we check the list and pick up anything that’s on it. DONE! No more forgetting to tell each other, no more forgetting ourselves, everything goes right into the app and it’s there when we need it. BEST decision ever. We’re currently using Todoist because it syncs with another app we use for work and we like it a lot!
4. Meal and Grocery Delivery: I was really resistant to meal and grocery delivery services before Arlo. It just felt like such a luxury and such a “cheat” at the same time. But then I realized it was ok if I didn’t make every meal from scratch or pick every avocado by hand. With everything in life, I’m learning delegation is key to survival. As a result, we’ve started using a meal delivery service during particularly busy weeks when we just know we won’t have time to do any cooking/prepping. It brings such a relief to us on those days. Similarly, if we’re having a particularly busy weekend and can’t go food shopping, we’ll use a grocery delivery service to help us out. It’s a luxury, yes, but the small additional price of delivery pays for itself when we’re able to use that time to devote 100% to Arlo or to wrap up an important work project.
5. Five Minute Clean-Up: We are king and queen of letting messes pile up, which is a very bad quality when you become a parent. Every night, even after our nanny leaves (and she helps tremendously with clean up during the day), Arlo swirls through every room in the house and destroys it. So while I’m putting Arlo to bed, Jeff spends five minutes just tidying up. He puts all the toys in their place and all the dishes in the dishwasher and it allows us to wake up the next morning to a clean house instead of a stressful disaster. A little time goes a LONG way when it comes to tidying up!
Phew! We are constantly learning when it comes to simplifying but I’m so thankful for these few easy changes we’ve made. I’d love to hear any tricks or hacks you have for making life a little less stressful in the comments below! Let’s help each other out!!
This post was created in partnership with Ivory. All content and opinions are that of my own! Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep the Studio DIY party going! Read more about my editorial policies here.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ivory. The opinions and text are all mine.