5 Ways I (attempt to) Manage the Crazy

Lauren’s Cut


this photo of Grits just cracked me up and felt appropriate for this post.

I’m in a supremely busy season of life. I like it this way, for the most part, and would call myself a high-capacity person. But, with anything, there are certain times I wish it was a little slower.

But as I write that I look back on my afternoon yesterday with the boys that involved dropping off books to be returned to the library, wandering the street under construction and marveling at the “diggr” and “up” (thats the bucket truck), and “dunt truh” (dump truck). We then stopped by the grocery store and headed home to play with our neighbors until dinner time. Then we played inside, we danced, and it was bath + bedtime.

Luke loves the bath. He LOVES the bath. You’ve never seen a baby splash with more delight than my Luke. He can be fussing and annoyed in the playroom, but strip him down and throw him in the bath? All is right in the world. And David is getting to be really funny. He was biting shapes into his graham cracker tonight making diggers and tow trucks and dump trucks. It’s so fun to see him learning everything, and so fast! He picks up on things I don’t even realize. I’ve gotten so many videos of him lately just doing the funniest little things and I end up just laying in bed and watching them at the end of the night after everyone is asleep!

Anyway, I just had to gush there for a minute! So I’m in this busy season, and I’m looking at these next 7 weeks before the end of the year. Justin and I have something going on just about every single weekend, not including holidays, and the some weeks have a few things happening on weeknights as well.

Getting sick on Sunday really threw me. I’m still not 100% back to normal. I’m very tired and don’t have an appetite yet. I’m sure I’ll be better soon, but losing these few days that were supposed to be very specifically used for work-related to do’s has spun me into this haze of “how am I going to get it all done?!?!”

I will get it done, I know, and despite the looming to do list, I wouldn’t trade an easy afternoon with my boys for any check mark next to a task.

But I thought through a few things that can simplify the next several weeks to help me enjoy the season and not become overwhelmed.

  1. Do my Christmas shopping online. Honestly, with Amazon Prime, there is barely a need to leave the house anymore! And so many online retailers are offering free shipping and returns that it’s becoming more of a hassle to actually leave the house and “enjoy” the shopping experience.
  2. Utilize the Crockpot. I love to cook and bake. I barely have time, or take the time, to do either these days. It’s just a season, I know, so I really need to up my Crockpot game so we don’t have too many nights of hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches!
  3. Protect the days that currently do not have events. I love doing things so I’m always game for filling up our schedule, much more than Justin, but I want to be sure that we still have a great deal of normal days in these next few weeks. I love our normal days.
  4. Figure out a To Do List structure that works. I can’t decide if I’m a paper to do list kinda gal, or an app gal, but once I figure it out I’ll be sure to tell you the best option (in my opinion). I use iCal for all my monthly to do’s, but I’d love to find something to use somewhat daily for my ongoing to do’s!
  5. Set realistic goals for what you want to accomplish. I have big plans for organizing my beauty stuff, and blogging about it, as well as sorting through my closet and finishing a few rooms on the house, but those cannot all happen at the same time. So I plan to set time goals for when I want each accomplished, both start and end times. If I don’t declare a start time, I’ll feel this self imposed pressure to start whenever I have a free minute.

Are you excitedly anticipating these next seven weeks before New Years, or nervously awaiting the madness that is about to ensue? I hope it’s the former.

I’d really love to hear tips you have for managing a busy schedule, specifically to do list apps that you really love!


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Christen says · 11.11.15

Love this post and definitely in your same boat!

Ellen says · 11.11.15

Your boys are so cute! I love reading about them. My fiancé and I are actually planning a wedding for June so that’s taking up a lot of my time! I just try to keep everything in perspective! My fiancé is applying to jobs as well so it’s just a time of prayer and reflection trying to determine where God wants us. A to do list is probably a really great idea I should do that!

Ines says · 11.11.15

Hi Kate, please check out and try “Wunderlist”. I use this app for To-Do lists all the time and it’s really great! 🙂

Steph VG says · 11.11.15

I was going to suggest Wunderlist, too. I’ve gone back and forth between paper and app and finally landed on app because of this one. It’s both desktop and mobile, and syncs immediately between the two. Also, I use Google’s calendar and it integrates there, too, so I can see all my to-do’s on the day they’re due, which gives me a better sense than a list of whether I’m attempting too much. Plus, it’s beautiful.

Rachel says · 11.11.15

I totally vote Wunderlist too!! It’s great that you can sync the app to both your laptop and phone, it makes it so easy to keep on top of things. I love being able to have a different list for each aspect of life – my wedding would never have happened without this app! Hope you try it out and like it Kate 🙂

Amber says · 11.11.15

I love wunderlist, too!!!! I utilize the reminder feature to get things done before they are actually “due”. I like to avoid a time crunch or crisis-mode. Free version is great. Sometimes I’ll even turn the sound on my phone so I can hear the ding when I check something off….. Very satisfying, ?

auntsarie says · 11.11.15

Yup! Wunderlist. They’re all right. Comprehensive, intuitive, many options, free. 🙂 DO IT.

Alicia says · 11.11.15

Love Wunderlist as well. Use it for all my store lists (Target, Groceries, etc.) and to-dos. I love that I can share lists with my husband and it syncs and automatically updates. I also use a paper planner by Inkwell Press (awesome company!) for calendar and daily appointments, etc.

Sarah says · 11.11.15

Be sure to share your crockpot recipes!! Can’t wait to see what you’ll make!

Amie says · 11.12.15

I have a go-to recipe for chicken. I spray my crock with EVOO spray and then layer in 5-6 chicken breasts. Sprinkle with 1 dry ranch dressing packet and about 5 Tbsp of pesto. Cook on Low for 4-5 hours. That’s all it takes. this chicken is so versatile we use it for the whole week in random dishes. our favorites are just the chicken with sides, we make enchiladas verdes with it, add a little BBQ sauce for a chicken sandwich. There are SO many possibilities!

Kati says · 11.11.15

I really like an app called TickTick. My fiance introduced me to it, and one thing I really like is that you can share your to-do list with someone else, or you can keep it private. We have a shared list for wedding planning tasks, but then each of us has our separate lists for the rest of our things. When you complete something, you check a box and it disappears. You can also set up recurring tasks for things that happen over and over.

Nikki says · 11.11.15

Emily Ley daily planner!! And her printables!!! But in an old fashioned right it down girl!

Michelle Martin says · 11.18.15

I was going to say Emily Ley’s Today’s To Do List. I buy them in bulk! I finally have started using it as a weekly list and every Sunday I write out things I need to remember to do the upcoming week. Since we moved in July to NC I will find forwarded mail where I forgot to notify the sender of our new address. Or pulling school items since one of the girls has a project, etc. I write the week at the top and move anything on Sunday to a new list that didn’t get done.

Donna says · 11.11.15

I have been using the hello bee freezer meals for over a year. They are delicious and easy and I actually enjoy the few hours of prep time knowing I won’t have to come up with a “What’s for Dinner” when I walk in the door.


Jennifer Peer says · 11.11.15

I love doing most of my Christmas shopping online….I get some great deals on Black Friday and don’t have to deal with the crowds. And crock pot cooking is great for those winter days when I’m working and want dinner ready when I get home. Great ideas!

Barbara H says · 11.11.15

I love using Wunderlist. I use it for groceries, to-do’s and a ton of other things. I like it because it’s easy to use and is very customizable (is that a word?). Enjoy your sweet boys but take time to enjoy your dear husband and breathe!

Kristin says · 11.11.15

For the to-do lists, if you decide you’re an app person (vs paper), I highly suggest Wunderlist. I’ve used it for the last 2 years and keep track of ALL of my to-do’s on there. You can categorize tasks, make them recurring and share them.
I would, seriously, be lost without it. Every night, before going to bed, I look at the next day’s tasks. It’s the only way I can keep straight what needs to be done.

Steph B says · 11.11.15

I am a paper-type of gal…I love physically checking off my to-do list too much to switch to an app. I just ordered erin condren life planner after doing some heavy research and am excited to use it next year! I am expecting twin boys nearly next year and feel this will be a good fit for our crazy schedules!

erin @ thh says · 11.11.15

I’ve just started using a very simple, uncomplicated bullet journal and I LOVE IT. I’m a written to-do list person (I just can’t do lists on the phone/computer) but I used to have lists strewn everywhere all over the house with no rhyme or reason to them. And I would always run out of scratch paper in my planners/calendars as I jotted down notes and ideas to myself. The blank canvas of the bullet journal keeps things simple for me, and the contained nature of it helps me keep everything together. It’s made life so much easier for me!

Melissa G says · 11.11.15

Erin Condren planner. With 5 kids and a husband who travels a lot for work, and working full time myself, if things aren’t planned out, they simply can’t get done. It comes with me everywhere! I like writing my to do list on paper because the feel of crossing it off is exhilarating!!

I make a weekly menu and grocery shop from it. Meals get planned around our activities…which are every single night and every single weekend. You just do what you have to do!

Sarah B says · 11.11.15

I can so relate to all of these! Online shopping is the way to go. One thing I tried last Christmas, which ended up working really well for my family, was giving “events” instead of physical gifts for my close family, especially parents and in-laws. (For example, concert tickets for my mom, movie theater gift card for dad…) Easy to find and purchase online, and typically was something that could be used AFTER the craziness of the holiday season, to space things out a bit 🙂

I am a paper planner person. I got a little planner with weekly and monthly pages and monthly tab dividers, and it’s perfect for me. Also small enough to fit in my purse which is a huge plus! Even though I use paper, I’m always impressed with the neat apps people have for planning and to-dos. If you go the app route and find and favorite, would love to see a post about it!

Isabel says · 11.11.15

Hey Kate! I hope you feel better. For daily to do lists, I would suggest raise the bar. It’s a free goal tracker app, very fun and motivating. Blessings!

Holly says · 11.11.15

I typically like handwritten to-do lists, but as others have mentioned, I LOVE the app Wunderlist! Bonus, it gives you a super encouraging ‘ding’ when you check something off 😉

Lindsey says · 11.11.15

Great post Kate! I have 2 girls, a 3 year old and an 8 week old & work full time. I love hearing how other Mom’s do it all. The best thing I have done is online shopping, I also like to keep my to do/get list in a beautiful monogram book from Etsy & try to also include inspiration quotes in it. The crock pot is a huge help too!!

Abbie E. says · 11.11.15

I love online shopping! It helps me find exactly what I want, whether its for myself or a gift.
Abbie E.

Laura says · 11.11.15

Love your tips to help simplify and love your hiding kitty:)


Melissa says · 11.11.15

Easy peasy crockpot recipe:

My mom used to make this in the oven, but I turned it into a crock pot dish.

Put a chuck roast (that is nicely marbled with small fat lines) in the crock pot. Dump a can of tomato sauce on top and sprinkle liberally, I mean liberally!, with garlic powder and especially cumin. My mom stabbed hers with a fork to get the spices in. I cook mine on low for 8 hours. Once it’s done you can shred it and put it in either soft tortillas (easiest) or warm up corn tortillas in a little oil. You can put whatever sauce on it you want, but we use La Victoria green sauce and salt. If you try it I hope you like it! Hmmm, I might have to make it for dinner now!

Amy says · 11.11.15

Love this – such great tips! I think your list of tips put a few things together in my mind around managing busy seasons. I’m a paper person, too, and use Elise Blaha’s approach (eliseblaha.typepad.com) to keep track of all the things. Good call on using the crock pot and protecting the days in which you do not have anything. Thanks for sharing!

Sara w says · 11.11.15

Crock-pots save wives 😉 I love mine! I have a stock of freezer meals that can go from freezer to crock pot and it helps SO much! Then also any time I make soup I freeze some 2 cup portions in a quart zip top bag which is enough for me to have for lunch alone twice or two for dinner for my whole family. I have finally gotten magnetized lists for the refrigerator that’s a wipe board, I’ve got one for each of my school aged boys and it seems to help. For myself I’m still searching but assigning repeating things in my calendar on my phone with alerts. Looking forward to what you find! The days are so busy, and protecting those few is so important. Great post!

Christina says · 11.11.15

I keep a weekly to do list on my phone with Note Everything and I set reminders for all the things with my Google calendar. I also write all our family appointments on a wall calendar in the kitchen and we go over our sxhey for the week at Sunday dinner.

Stephanie says · 11.11.15

My second baby is due in 5 weeks and I have a 3 year old. My to do list seems to keep growing! I’m more of a paper list maker. I have an overall to do before baby and Christmas and then I look at that make make manageable daily lists.

Anna says · 11.11.15

Take the camp patton advice (which I wish I had had when my kids were young): make your to do list, and then cross off half of it, now you just (might) finish most of it.
take it from another mom, this is great advice!

Kate says · 11.11.15

You are so right about the online shopping. I did everything that way last year. So easy, but I missed store shopping!

Rachel says · 11.11.15

I second the previous commentor who recommended the Erin Condren Life Planner! There are so many options and layouts, but it makes it easy to find something that works for you. Some people go all out and decorate them and make them fancy, but I just write in my to dos and plans!

And I use Flylady’s method for cooking ahead for the holidays. Anytime that you can during November, cook twice as much food as you need for a meal. Put the half that you won’t need into the freezer. If you do this throughout the month, when you get to December, you’ll have a freezer full of food to make cooking easy and quick, and you won’t have spent much extra time doing it!

Stacey says · 11.11.15

Crockpot meals are lifesavers! I’m not a mom yet, but I am a busy graduate student on a budget who is planning a wedding (10 more days!), preparing for a husband to move in after the wedding, writing a thesis, and planning a cross-country move to start a faculty job in several months. We’re trying to budget carefully, so we don’t plan to eat out much. Because my days are so full, crockpot meals are the only way I can manage to avoid that!

I’m sure you’ve done some looking for recipes, but I’ll share a few of my favorites!

1) Southwest black bean chicken soup – this one is spicy, so sometimes I cut back on the coriander, or eliminate completely.

2) Creamy Italian Chicken

3) Salsa chicken – just pour salsa over frozen chicken breasts and cook on low all day!

4) Beans
We eat a LOT of beans and rice, and I cook the beans in the crockpot.
– Soak beans (I usually do about 2 cups dry) for approximately 8 hours
– Drain beans and dump into the crockpot with enough fresh water to cover them with an inch or two to spare
– Add a tablespoon or two of some kind of fat. I usually use bacon grease. I’ve found that this helps to keep the beans from tasting “water-logged.” (I’m a scientist, so the reason for this was interesting to me – beans are “lipophilic,” meaning “fat-loving.” Adding a little bit of fat into your pot will allow the flavors from whatever spices you add to be carried into the beans, because the lipids from the fat will penetrate the bean better than water.)
– Season to taste. You can do lots of garlic and onions, or Mexican spices. Be liberal with your spices, and make sure you add salt to blend your flavors together.

God bless!

Jennifer says · 11.11.15

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and behind already but honestly all that is my own doing.
I too am going to be using my Crock-Pot more because this fall we’ve seen more than our share of bare bones dinners. I’ve gotten to know the freezer aisle of every grocery store in my town intimately this fall.

I really love the workflowy app because it’s web-based. I can make changes whether I’m on my phone or my laptop.

Allysia says · 11.11.15

I cannot believe we’re that close to Christmas/New Years already! Yeah I just use good ol’ pen and paper for my to-do lists, so I’d be eager to see any alternatives you come up with! And good call with doing online shopping, the malls during the Christmas season get very crazy and anxiety-provoking!

Erica says · 11.11.15

Hi Kate,
I have two kids and one in school. I stay home with them and our days are low key, laid back just the way I like it. I feel like this time home is passing quickly, so I try to just stay home.
I try to grocery shop when the oldest is in school, meal prep whenever or make freezer meals (pinterest has great ideas), and I use the cockpot a TON! For the cockpot meals I keep it simple and also use a book called “101 crockpot meals”.

As far as Christmas shopping, one of my kids has a birthday in December so for the last few years my husband and I have taken a “date night” and gotten a sitter and we then do all our Christmas shopping in one night. This shopping date occurs in November before Thanksgiving. It’s been great to shop together and to get it all done in one shot. And it’s fun that my husband actually knows what we’ve bought people for gifts since he’s in on the shopping too!
I hope you all have a great holiday season! I follow your blog daily and love it! Thanks for all you do!

Grace Aspinwall says · 11.11.15

I have learned I can’t do it all! Ha! I work from home as a professional blogger for photographers and as a PR rep for a firm in California, have two little girls ages 1.5 and almost 4, and it’s pretty chaotic. We have a nanny six hours a week, and I have learned Christ is sufficient for all, and the more I lean on Him to help me, I feel more at peace. I use Trello to manage household tasks, and have a daily to-do list. I eliminated my personal social things to once a week (like mom group), and playdates to one a week for my kids. We cut out a lot so we could add a weekly date night, and it feels less hectic now! I also take a few hours every Saturday where husband takes my kids and I do something just for me, like reading or shopping. Honestly, we had to sit down and really take stock of the things we wanted to do…and the life we wanted to live, and it wasn’t one filled to the brim every day with crazy! I’d try sitting down with your hubby and mapping out the things that are “most important”, least important”, etc, and then cutting stuff out as you can. good luck, i KNOW it’s not easy! Bravo to any mama who works from home!

Meagan says · 11.11.15

I love that you are real and transparent. I don’t have an app suggestion or anything I guess my advice would just be learning the art of letting go. If you lower your expectations you won’t be as disappointed if everything doesn’t happen according to plan!

Naphtali says · 11.11.15

Cozi is a great app for shopping lists, to do lists & your calendar! All in one app, I LOVE IT!

Francine says · 11.11.15

For the daily to-dos, I always have a paper list going on my kitchen counter, right where I see it all the time throughout the day. It helps keep my list fresh in my mind so I don’t forget what I need to do, and I love the feeling of crossing the items off! I use Google Calendar with my husband as well for longer-term things, so either one of us can see at a glance what’s going on with each other and we get reminders on our phones for events, too.

Ginger says · 11.11.15

Try the app WorkFlowy! Very minimalistic to-do list. I love it!

kayla says · 11.11.15

I love this list! Some might say I over use the crockpot ?I totally set a goals list the other day! These are all such amazing ideas!

xoxo kayla

Holly says · 11.11.15

I also use the Wunderlist app and really love it. The slow cooker is a complete life saver during the busy times! Also, it is the perfect tool to use during the winter when you want to make more stews and less grilling. My go to slow cooker cookbook is called ” slow cooker: the best cookbook ever” by Dianne Phillips

Windi says · 11.11.15

I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and love all the hair tutorials. I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding that will be taking place on November 29th, and might attempt to do my hair myself. That is a big deal, as the only thing I really know how to do is blow dry my hair. Thank you for this blog and the tutorials!!!

To answer your question, my favorite to-do list app is Wunderlist. It is shareable and updates instantly. You can set reminders, assign tasks to others (those with whom you have shared a list) or yourself. It is the best app I have discovered this year!

Shannon says · 11.11.15

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by the ever-growing to-do list… especially one that’s made for weeks ahead. This post was such a great break down of how to balance an incredibly busy life. No matter what you do; mom, full-timer, blogger, youtuber, whatever, life always gets crazy. Thanks for the helpful tips on how to make it a little less so.

Also, being a Carolina girl (North) in Southern California, I love reading your blog…it’s like a little slice of home.


Chris says · 11.11.15

I’m totally going check out Wunderlist after reading all these comments! Thank you- I live by having my lists and calendar on my phone. I seriously have to hunt for paper and a pen when I need to write something down, I just don’t do it so this sounds perfect.

And the crockpot, I love the crockpot in winter. We have meals from it a couple times a week usually now that the weather is cooler. For some reason I never use it in the summer. And our summer lasted until November 1st this year. 🙂

Jennifer says · 11.11.15

I LOVE Any.Do which is an iphone app & google chrome plugin. You can create specific categories for do list items, make notes, and it syncs with contacts. I also love updating my to do list in Chrome while I’m compiling email or browsing web. Super easy, and helps keep me organized. My favorite part of the day is when I can mark something complete!

Tiffany says · 11.11.15

I am a paper list person. I actually keep all my lists in a blank notebook. This allows me to look back at stuff, like pack lists and bills paid. I was trying to do bullet journaling for awhile and I still do some, but I don’t like having to write it out myself. It takes up my precious time, so I am looking for something else now. When I worked in retail, I kept a Franklin Covey planner, but they are ugly. I need it to be pretty to use now. Haha!

Jackie says · 11.11.15

Amazon Prime is a lifesaver! Did you know that you can support the charity of your choice through smile.amazon.com? It’s the same things (just a branch of amazon), doesn’t cost you anything extra, and helps out a lot of great charities. I shop at amazon ALL THE TIME and I love being able to support The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR) in honor of my little guy whose therapy/doctors appointments are the reason I need prime in the first place ;)!

Simone says · 11.11.15

I am a paper to-do list girl! I have not gotten into the apps or using my phone…I just get much greater satisfaction by physically crossing through an item!

Evelyn says · 11.11.15

I know you are an Apple kinda girl, so I don’t know if this helps, but I love the google calendar. I can color code, share parts of calendar with my husband (we have a “family” calendar that I use for appts that both of us should keep track), have email and phone popup alerts. Besides, it sincs with my phone so I have it everywhere, and edit it anywhere.

For a to do list only for the day, a more detailed list of things that need to get done but are not appointments, I use paper!

MeaganS says · 11.11.15

My hubs and I use wunderlist but I resist it constantly because I’m more of a pen-and-paper kind of gal. I’ve already started my christmas shopping in hopes that the majority is done and wrapped this month. Working in a full time stressful job with two toddlers is overwhelming as it is without adding the holidays to it. If you have some trusty crock pot recipes, I’d LOVE to see them!

Arijana C. says · 11.11.15

You got some great tips!
I work full time outside of home and have 2 boys (almost 12 and 8). They are involved in sports so most of our evenings are spent driving them back and forth placed.
Is it VERY important to me to sit down and have dinner together. We manage to do so every night of the week. What has helped me is planning ahead of time. I spend some time creating a menu and its so much easier when I know what i am cooking and i can create the meals based on the day of the week/activity.
I am almost done with my Christmas shopping and you know why? Online shopping!!! With some any stores offering free shipping and some great deals, i started early this year.
OMG your kitty made me laugh! I absolutely love it.

Lynise W says · 11.11.15

Have you tried the app any.do? It’s a to do list app that has different categories so that you can organize your to do’s by what part of your life they apply to. When you’re done you swipe to the right and it crosses the item off your list. It’s oddly satisfying to cross things off. I like the app because you always have your phone with you. At the end of the day when you go to bed you don’t take paper and pen to bed with you but you probably have your phone. So it’s there when you remember things you want to achieve the next day. I have really loved using it and it’s increased my productivity quite a bit. Hope that helps!

Danielle says · 11.11.15

Thank you so much for the post Kate! I’m definitely in the midst of the crazy these days. We just got a new puppy, my husbands work schedule is full, we’re still settling into our new home, my poor little blog has been alone for over a week, in addition to a lot of other things!! 🙂 I will definitely be using some of your goals from this post as I think they will serve me well. Praying that you continue to be blessed and strengthened amidst the crazy.


Evelina says · 11.11.15

I think saving some free days as “normal days” really helps you keep your sanity. I do the same thing! And that picture of Grits totally cracked me up. Cats are so fun.

marie says · 11.12.15

I hate shopping during Christmas too, as all the shops are packed, peoples are rude etc. so me too I am probably going to shop on line in the quietness and comfort of my home.

anyway I like your list and I am pretty much on the same boat.


Teresa Roberts says · 11.12.15

Have you heard of “The Crockin Girls?
Great time saving recipes, easy ingredients
Video step by step is available too☺️

Melissa says · 11.12.15

I love my crock pot….and I love to cook and bake. I struggled for years with not so exciting crock pot recipes. Two years ago I came across a book called “crockpot revolution”. Amazing! The best recipes ever. They requires a bit more prep than usual. Your not just dumping everything in and turning it on. But…the extra few minutes is totally worth it and the results are really impressive. The Huli Huli chicken and the Italian style pot roast are my staples. My two boys (ages 10 and 5) love everything I have made from it. Give it a try if you get a chance.

Sarah says · 11.12.15

I’m looking forward to the holiday season and am hoping to get my shopping done early so I can enjoy the last couple weeks before Christmas and not have to be rushing around. I hate the feeling of running out that last weekend in a rush trying to find something. I’d rather be driving around looking at Christmas lights!

Kristen D says · 11.12.15

I guess I’ll be the lone defector and say that I use an app called “Clear” instead of Wunderlist. I love the use of color and how simple and clean it is. It isn’t free, but I’ve found it worth every penny. I can make lists for Target, Groceries, To Do, Movies I want to see, Books I want to read, etc. And if I shake my cell phone, I have the option to send a list via email. I can drag and drop items to prioritize or organize (like grouping all the groceries in order of the store), and simply swipe to complete or delete an item.
I struggle with dinner times too, with a 5 month old baby, so lately I have just been doubling every recipe I cook so I can freeze half for an emergency. I invested in an extra standup freezer, and I plan to fill it up! Also great for freezing baby food 🙂
Best of luck with the holiday chaos!!

Monica says · 11.12.15

Hi Kate,

I know this is random, but what is the paint color on your wall in this post? I love it! It seems neutral but still warm. I live in seattle and in all the grey you need a something warm inside.


megan says · 11.12.15

I love Wunderlist. My husband and I split up the grocery shopping, and the app allows you to create and share lists. So my husband and I share a grocery list that we can both add to. And once an item is completed (by either person), it notifies you that it’s done and removes it from the list. We also have an on-going “Honey Do” list that we add to for each other. I enjoy using Wunderlist for my personal to-do lists as well, and you can add subtasks to each item. It’s great!

Julie says · 11.12.15

I use ToDoist as a electronic based place to keep my to-do’s, shopping list (I have a Christmas list going year round so I can add gifts as I think of them) short and long term projects. Then I use a paper printable daily list where I place the items off my ToDoist list each day into a calendar and it gives me a better sense of what I can really do.

I couldn’t get through Christmas without Amazon Prime and I take a half day off of work in early December while my little ones are in daycare and shop for anything I need in a brick and mortar store.

Jennifer says · 11.12.15

I have a 16mo son and an 8mo daughter – I can totally relate to everything in this post! It’s a crazy but fun-filled life we are living!

No advice, but on the crockpot cooking note, I made this this week, and it was fabulous. My son loved it, too (BONUS), and it’s also pretty healthy:

(I used more chicken broth but maybe I’m just quinoa-naive?)

Rianne says · 11.13.15

Hi Kate, love your blog! I was going to recommend using Wunderlist, but clearly I don’t need to anymore ; ) Come join the fanbase!

liza says · 11.15.15

In case it wasn’t mentioned, Wunderlist can also have shared lists. I have one for things I want completed but my husband has to do, and then I can assign it to him without heckling him to get it done.

…but two weeks later and I still need him to do a few things 🙂 At there is proof that i asked for it! 🙂

Jessica says · 11.19.15

I wanted to touch on #2 – utilizing your Crockpot more. I’m constantly trying to find ways to convert meals to work in my Crockpot. A big one for us is shredded chicken for tacos. If you put 2-4 chicken breast in the Crockpot with taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade) and 1 cup of salsa, cook on low all day, then shred when you get home. You can make tacos, nachos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. I usually try to put all the ingredients in the Crockpot overnight in the fridge to marinate, but it’s more about starting it all cold so the chicken doesn’t dry out if you go more than 8 hours.

You can also do this with a pork loin instead of chicken or to make BBQ in the Crockpot. A new favorite website of mine is http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/. She has a ton of easy recipes that’s she’s converted to the Crockpot too. We also LOVE her egg drop soup.

Good luck to you and yours this holiday season. I can get so hectic, but it’s a lovely chaos with kids.