Snow day + mom/life hacks

Hi friends! Happy Thursday! How’s the morning treating ya? I’ve loved reading all of the awesome comments on my last post. 🙂

We had the craziest surprise yesterday:

Snow day


Apparently it hasn’t snowed like this in Valdosta for 20 years. It was magical and stunning. (I’m sure all of my friends who see snow all the time and have to live/deal with it regularly are groaning. It’s definitely a novelty for us!)

Liv came into our room was like, “Mom, you have to come out here! It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”


Sure enough, big, fluffy snowflakes were drifting down to cover our yard and driveway. It was like a winter wonderland.

When we went to get P out of her bed, Liv opened the shades to her room. For one of the few times in her young life, P was speechless.

Girls playing in the Georgia snow

The most difficult part of the whole morning was trying to convince the girls to eat breakfast before we could all bundle in multiple layers to head outside.

Tom making a mini snowman

The girls tossed the snow in the air, held icicles, chased each other around, and built a snowman.

Georgia snowday--me and the girls

(Poor P started screaming because she got ice in her boot. I took her inside for a quick outfit change and then she was happy again.)

Happy girls and their little snowman

Even when the snow melted, he was still hanging out on the patio.


The Pilot and I also had a pretty intense snowball fight haha. We spent the day hanging out at home, watching movies, drinking hot cocoa and catching up on small things around the house. It’s funny because this week was our week back to reality with the Pilot returning to work and the girls heading back to school. The snow day totally changed all of that. It was like, “Welcome to real life again. Just kidding! Here’s a bonus day of vacation.” I’ll take it.

Dinner was one of our faves: poke bowls!

I just cooked some sushi rice in the Instant Pot and served it with tuna tataki (from the freezer section at Whole Foods by the sushi bar), cucumber, avocado, nori and pickled ginger. I added some kale with ginger dressing to my bowl, too.

semi-homemade Poke bowl

So today’s post is a bit of a random one, but let’s talk about mom/life hacks. I’m in the Skimm’bassadors group on Facebook, and it’s one of my favorite places on the internet. It’s where I get awesome book recommendations, hilarious memes, fun stories and tips for products. (It’s where I first learned about this incredible hair styler!)

Last week, they were talking about life hacks: simple things you do to make life easier. I really loved reading through the list (things like setting the coffee pot to brew 15 minutes before you wake up, quick recipes, keyboard shortcuts and cleaning tips) and thought it was a valuable discussion. When I did my blog survey, a reader friend asked me to share my own list of mom hacks, so between those two things, it gave me the inspiration for this post/topic.

So here are the things that came to my mind as “mom hacks” that I do to make life a little easier:

– 1 load of laundry every day, or it will pile up to an unsurmountable amount. This is CLUTCH. This means 1 load of laundry, from start to finish including folding and putting it away (<— the worst part). I let it pile up over the holidays and had six loads of clean laundry to put away the other day. Never again.

– Pack snacks and lay out clothes for the next day. This makes the mornings so much easier. We already have some struggles getting ready for the day on time, so there’s no way I’d be able to add picking out outfits and packing food to the mix. This way, all I have to do is get the crew fed and dressed, and we’re out the door. 

– 2 emergency lollipops in my purse at all times. This may be my #1 mom hack. I always have two of the Yum Earth organic lollipops on me. Always. I’m not a believer in rewarding tantrums or distracting with sweets, but sometimes when you feel things start to escalate, it’s a lifesaver. (Especially when if you feel a tantrum coming on in the worst place possible: an airplane.) I use them for emergency purposes and they save the day. (For example, once we were waiting in line at Target and it was taking FOREVER, and P kept trying to run away from me. I handed her a lollipop, let her sit in the cart, and boom. We lasted until it was our turn to pay.)

– Serve something you know they love with the newer or more unique things. Sometimes I’ll make dishes with more intense flavor profiles, like curry spices or lots of fresh herbs and citrus zest. Sometimes they surprise me and love it, sometimes they hate it. If I’m serving something that’s totally new to them, I include something familiar that they love. Things that they always go crazy for: Annie’s mac n’ cheese, garlic bread (we call it “baby toast”: homemade sourdough broiled with butter, a little salt and garlic), fresh berries, or roasted broccoli with parmesan. 

– Related consequences. Time is a huge one. I feel like punishments have never been super effective for us. (“You hit your sister, so no TV shows for you today.” <— they aren’t related, so it’s a punishment instead of a consequence.) We learned to create consequences based on what’s going on, and it’s a strategy I try to use when I can. Time usually works. (Example: “Since you didn’t get dressed when I asked you to and took so much time to get ready, we won’t have as much time at the park right now.”)

– If you’re making a snack for one child, make the same thing for the other child, even if they say they don’t want it. They always do.

-Make more and freeze extras. This especially goes for breakfast items! They LOVE these pancakes, so I’ll usually make a triple batch and freeze the rest for quick weekday breakfasts. 

So tell me, friends: what’s one (or some!) of your favorite mom or life hacks? Something that makes the day easier and bit more fun? Last time you saw snow?? The last time I saw it was in Lenox.

Have a wonderful day!



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  1. Cassie on January 4, 2018 at 6:52 am

    I also do 1 load of laundry a day. I get up early these days to read and get my yoga in. I just sketched out a cleaning schedule… 2 items per day so we will see how that goes. Always always go aside… even if it’s just a minute. Play first. As an adult, I really want to get the chores out of the way first thing. But our day is much more peaceful if we play together first and then start working on the to do list.

  2. Sara S on January 4, 2018 at 7:03 am

    I need to get better at the laundry…I am currently looking at 3 baskets of clean clothes that need to be put away I also completely agree with special “snacks” in my purse. They have saved me more times than I like to admit!
    It’s snowing right now! My oldest has a snow day but with the windchills and winds today I’m not sure how much we will be playing outside. ??

  3. Brianne on January 4, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Last time we saw snow in Tucson was New Year’s Eve/morning 3 years ago. Today Tucson will be 71° & no where close to cold/snow.
    As far as life hacks, I take 10 min before I go to bed and pack breakfast, lunch and prep coffee so it’s ready to go. It saves me much more time then 10 minutes the next morning. I also pick out what I’m going to wear the next day so my fuzzy morning brain doesn’t have to make any decisions.

  4. Lindsey B on January 4, 2018 at 7:55 am

    We have 3 inches of * snow here in North Carolina! Its beautiful!

  5. Janice O'Kane on January 4, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Happy Snow day, that’s awesome! Meal prepping as much as possible on the weekend and prepping my morning drink (lemon juice + cold brewed tea) the night before help my days flow much smoother!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      ohh love the idea to do your morning drink in advance!

  6. Liz on January 4, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Great mom hack tips! I know once i have two kids im going to really need to adapt more if these. Right now totally agree about the laundry and i always have a teething cracker or food pouch on me to avoid meltdowns while were out doing errands.

  7. Jen M on January 4, 2018 at 8:34 am

    *Mom Hacks – emergency snacks in the car at all times, lunch prepped the day before or at least lunch boxes out and containers ready to be filled, for sure the same snacks! I love the 1 load of laundry a day and am going to try and implement this!

  8. Maria on January 4, 2018 at 8:36 am

    * Snow is just starting here in NH.

  9. Carolyn M on January 4, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I have a small box of toys that I keep hidden and only come out when we go to a restaurant or are taking a long car ride. They’re nothing too exciting (small notebook, miniature figurines, stickers, etc.), but the novelty of them keeps them exciting enough to last us through those sometimes difficult times.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      that is so brilliant. i’m going to do this!

  10. Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups on January 4, 2018 at 9:06 am

    The laundry struggle is real. I’m great about actually washing and drying, but folding and putting away is the worst. My best mom hack is always to have water and a snack on hand/in my purse.

  11. Kelsey Graf on January 4, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I’ve said to my husband multiple times, and this post reminds me again, that we are kind of in the ‘easy’ phase of parenting right now with a 3 month old – It kind of scares me to think about having to teach Isla good behavior, morals, etc… for now we just feed her, change her, put her to sleep, and we have ourselves a happy baby! I see myself scouring the internet in a couple years for help on how to handle situations, so I appreciate these kinds of posts 😉

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      i feel like things are always challenging, but in a different way. when the girls are having a hard time listening or feel out of control, i remind myself that we have so much bigger challenges on the way (bullies, mean girls, boyfriends, everything in high school, UGH)

  12. Dakota campbell on January 4, 2018 at 9:58 am

    So happy you got snow! *

  13. Sandy on January 4, 2018 at 10:01 am

    This isn’t a hack so much as it is a weird thing that I do, but when my almost-two-year old starts to throw a tantrum, I pick him up, flip him upside down, and dance around with him singing a song I made up, the only words to which are, “it’s hard to cry when you’re upside down!,” until he is distracted enough to forget what he was melting down over.

    Also, my New Years resolution is no phone in the mornings for at least and hour.!its stopped me from mindlessly wasting that time and I’ve been getting SO much done!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      i need to take that phone hack from you! i waste so much time in the am scrolling and catching up on everything

  14. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on January 4, 2018 at 10:05 am

    How precious with the snow! I take for granted growing up in Wisconsin all the snow I got to enjoy as a kid. I can’t say I miss waking up to the cold weather 60% of the year though. Something every kid should experience at least once!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      yes! it was so new and magical for them 🙂

  15. Reenie on January 4, 2018 at 10:09 am

    “Mom, you have to come out here! It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” ….. so sweet.

    Love your little bitty snowman. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      thank you! they had the best time 🙂

  16. Jen on January 4, 2018 at 10:45 am

    The picture of the 2 girls holding hands, looking out at the snow. <3

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      makes my heart so happy and thankful <3

  17. Michelle Leonard on January 4, 2018 at 10:47 am

    I loved reading this! It’s crazy to think that this little sprinkle of snow is a novelty! We are hammered with cold and snow for half the year it seems (Saskatchewan, Canada….it’s cold here!)

    My hack I have decided to try to commit to this year is to always do “5 more things” before I crawl in bed. They can be super small like putting away 5 pieces of laundry, tidying around the bathroom sink, just a handful of things that you won’t have piling up for the next day!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      oh it gets super cold up there! i visited an area not too crazy far from you – mountain trek – and it was seriously SO gorgeous <3
      that is an awesome daily goal, too <3

  18. LJ on January 4, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Thanks (again) for great tips. I don’t think I have anything to add. I do the usual: choose my clothes the night before, put out healthy snacks for busy days. On especially challenging days some gratitude journaling at the end of the day. nothing huge but the little things that count.

    We usually have loads of snow by now in my neck of woods (Northern Europe) but this year we barely have any. You stole our snow! No need to rush returning it, though: I am loving my ice-free morning runs.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      i totally agree that the little things count and add up!
      haha happy to take some of the snow off your hands 😉

  19. Jessica on January 4, 2018 at 11:02 am

    This was a fun post! Two things I have learned to love as a parent – use the old compartmentalized formula containers to carry a small variety of snacks and buy a dustbuster! it is so old school but I love it for cleaning up small messes – especially the high chair.

    I think I am deciding to do monthly goals for 2018 – so that I can be more focused and have short-term accomplishments to be proud of. For January, I am going to: eliminate alcohol, buy less and spend more deliberate, meaningful time with my son (as opposed to being in the same room with him and a bunch of distractions).

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      ohhh i love the idea to use the formula containers for that!
      also, i think i need to order a dust buster for my car haha
      monthly goals is a great way to tackle different things, too

  20. Jacquelyn O on January 4, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Love this! I love reading life hacks! I definitely like to do the setting out clothes for early mornings and setting up the coffee (Keurig) the night before! also: pack an extra protein bar/Snack, a backup battery brick (to charge anything) and using my fitness pal ??

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      those are all awesome hacks!

  21. Brittany Taylor on January 4, 2018 at 11:48 am

    I’m now buying some of those lollipops!
    I always do one load of laundry a day as well. I also prep EVERYTHING I possibly can the night before (lunches, clothes laid out, bags in the car, etc). Makes the mornings so much smoother.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      seriously! it helps so much <3

  22. Juliana on January 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    The last time I saw snow was on Whidbey Island last NYE! I was visiting from CA and like, OMG GUYS LOOK AT THE SNOW!!! Everyone else was groaning haha. I guess the thing about being from CA (and probably AZ too?) is that not really ever having snow = snow is always novel. 😀

    I’m not a mom but my biggest life hack is that I ONLY buy clothes that match. ALL of them go together.(I also went to Catholic school and had to wear a uniform for years and I guess that habit will never die even in my 30s, haha.) That way I never ever have to think about whether what I’m putting on in the morning will look ok <–life changing when you have a commute or anything you need to or would rather do in the morning besides worry about what to wear. It also means my wardrobe is mostly white/blue/green/gray, but in reality those are the only colors I will regularly wear anyway so why lie to myself haha. I've found it also curbs my impulse shopping because I never buy anything that doesn't match what I already have.

    This is a great post, I'm enjoying reading everyone else's hacks!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      that is such a brilliant tip! i need to get on that! i feel like i wear a lot of the same colors, too

  23. Melissa on January 4, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I have 18 month old twins so I need all the Mom hacks I can get! When we go out I make sure to have a variety of different snacks. Recently the boys have been crying/whining during car rides so we bought a few special toys that are just for the car and this seems to be helping. Also, I don’t know if this is really a hack but I rotate the boy’s toys so they only have a few to play with at a time. I find they actually play better when they have less toys to choose from.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:04 pm

      that is such a great idea! i’m a huge fan of the toy rotation, too. plus if they get a ton of toys for their birthday or christmas, i hide like half of them and take them out slowly throughout the year when they need something do to. it’s like little gifts all year that way!

  24. Becky @ The Bex Factor on January 4, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I love how magical experiencing snow was for your girls. I live in Alberta, Canada, so it ain’t no thing up here. We just got out of a cold snap where we experienced lows of -40.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      oh my gosh, that is crazy cold!

  25. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on January 4, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    It sounds like the girls enjoyed the snow! The winter weather has been crazy this so far this winter. It was -40 on New Year’s Eve here, so the city cancelled all their outdoor festivities because it was just too cold to be outside for any length of time.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      they loved it so much! -40!!! what! that is so crazy

  26. Tammy on January 4, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I live up in Canada so I’m used to many many feet of snow, it’s business as usual up here when it snows. * but exciting you are seeing a new part of history being made!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      yes, we loved it so much!

  27. Amie VV on January 4, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    I actually do ALL OF THESE THINGS. Great post!

  28. Stephanie on January 4, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    *I love the mom hacks! It’s so funny, I keep a stash of the yum earth or trader joe lollipops with me at all times for the same reason. It’s crazy what a sucker can do!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      yes! they are lifesavers

  29. Tracy on January 4, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Yes yes yes on keeping up with laundry! I do several loads every day with my 4 kids at home.

    Which skimm’bassadors group are you in? Sounds like a good one to join!

    No snow here (thank goodness!!). Just frigid subzero temps 🙁 So fun for your girls though!!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 11:01 pm

      it makes such a huge difference!
      if you’re a member and have referred people to the skimm, i think you can email them to ask to be added!

  30. Leta on January 4, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I love to batch cook on the weekends!*

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      i need to get back in the habit of this!

  31. Jennifer M on January 4, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    * I always have a small bag of toys with me. I like to buy the big, cloth pencil cases from target to put hot wheels, Little People, etc, in. That way if we’re shopping or at a restaurant I have a distraction for the kiddos. I definitely need to get on the one load of laundry per day instead of 6 in a weekend.

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      that is a brilliant idea! i need to do that one

  32. Stephanie Frank on January 4, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    No snow in Gainesville, FL, but so cold schools have been closed the last *2 days*!!!

    • Fitnessista on January 4, 2018 at 10:58 pm

      no way! that is crazy!!

  33. milania dela cruz on January 4, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    picture of the girls holding hands: priceless.
    just went thru the blizzard up here in CT today. so yes, another vacation day! 🙂
    but on our way to a vacation down in Miami/Bahamas Cruise/Orlando tomorrow for a whole week! yippee!!

    • Fitnessista on January 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      hope you’re having the best time on your vacay!

  34. Nikki C on January 5, 2018 at 7:22 am

    For friends with young kids, a friend told me she layers bedding on toddler beds (when they are old enough of course) and it’s saved me many many times. Meaning waterproof mattress cover, fitted sheet, another waterproof cover and then another fitted sheet. This has been a lifesaver for 2am sicknesses/wetness. Just remove one layer and boom back to bed. Love these, Thanks for sharing!

    • Fitnessista on January 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      this is GENUIS

      • Alicia on January 8, 2018 at 11:42 pm

        I do this for both my daughters…it’s amazing!

  35. Katie @ Live Half Full on January 5, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Love those mom hacks!

    My favorites:
    -Laying son’s clothes out in our mudroom, so much easier to do clothes/shoes/coat all at the same time vs fighting him twice!
    -Plating my son’s food for the next day when I make our dinner! I feed him while I cook our dinner and he eats leftovers from whatever he had the night before. Eventually I want to eat meals at a family, but for now this works!

    • Fitnessista on January 6, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      that is a brilliant idea since the kiddos sometimes eat earlier!

  36. Jennifer on January 6, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    It is best when kids are that age when it snows. They are old enough to know that it is something special. My kid is just a year old, he doesn’t care that much. XD

    Doing daily laundry is the best suggestion! That is what we do, and it is mostly because we hang the laundry to air dry, but it makes life easier. I remember feeling like a prisoner when I did two loads of laundry in a row. Ugh. And putting clothes away IS the hardest part lol

    • Fitnessista on January 6, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      yes, they thought it was the coolest thing ever!
      haha and same. doing multiple loads is just the worst

  37. Alicia on January 8, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    I keep lollipops and colored pencils/notebooks for each girl in the car. I take bulk items and break them into snack bag size items. Lay clothes out the night before. Make lunches/snacks the night before. Cook food in large batches so I can eat it over the next couple of days. Try to remote start car so kids don’t whine about it being cold…

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