Back-to-School Realities and Getting Organized

Monday morning was super chaotic in my house.  It was the first day of school and we seriously need to work on our morning routine.  There were lost glasses, pouty faces, rushing to make lunches, rushing to make breakfast.  Then me begging my child to eat said breakfast.  There were brand new shorts that didn't fit.  And of course, we had to fit in the obligatory back-to-school picture before walking out the door.  That in it of itself was kind of a disaster too.  

This was the best I could get.  Not too bad, huh? You can clearly see who isn't excited to start school again...

This was the best I could get.  Not too bad, huh? You can clearly see who isn't excited to start school again...

By the time I dropped them off and watched them get on the bus, I was a little exhausted.  I walked into my quiet house and took a deep breath in and out.  I joked on Instagram that I would be having a mimosa on the first day of school, but sadly it didn't happen. My fantasy life looks way better than the real thing.  With no mimosa in hand, I walked around my house and took it all in.  The dirty dishes in the sink, the crumbs under the table, the dusty lamp shade (heck the dusty everything!), the piles of laundry that needed to be washed.  I walked into my office and realized I never got around to making it my oasis of creativity.  It still looks like a storage closet with a computer in the corner.  Soon panic ensued.  I had no idea where to begin.  I was overwhelmed by it all.  How did it get so bad? When did this happen?  How can I fix it? So, I did what anyone else would do, I procrastinated and got on facebook.  Bad idea.  I soon saw photos of adorable kids with adorable chalkboard signs of the grades they were going to start and what they wanted to be when they grew up.  I saw photos of pretty back-to-school healthy breakfasts.  Photos of kids in classrooms, which meant parents drove their kids to school and walked in with them.  How sweet! I barely walked mine to the bus stop.  Yup, facebook was a bad idea, so I quickly stopped procrastinating and decided to get some work done.  But soon my mind began to wander and again I got overwhelmed with the thoughts in my head of all the things I needed to do and all the things I wanted to do.  I have goals, people.  But, without a clear plan those goals won't be met.  

I'd been looking forward to uninterrupted work days for so long!  But, now that the time has come, I am completely unprepared.  So, I decided to start with a list.  Of course, I would start with a list or two or three.  First, I wrote down all the big things I want to accomplish by the end of the year.  Then I wrote down all the things I needed to do and finish this week for work.  I intend on creating a weekly list of goals and deadlines every Sunday night, so that I can be ready to tackle the week.  I am now currently in the process of working out a daily schedule/routine so that I am not just spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.  I don't have all the answers and I'm definitely not an organizational queen, but I will be working hard to find some balance and get things in order. I am looking forward to being productive and I'm determined to get things done (insert fist pump here!) 

Who's with me?  Anyone else have some big plans to get organized and productive now that the kids are in school?  I'd love to hear your ideas!  What's worked for you and what hasn't. I'll be sharing tips here too periodically.  I'll let ya know what's worked and what hasn't and hope it helps you too! XO


My Honest and Bitter-Sweet Reflection on Back-to-School

Here we are.  Just a few more days and this house will be a lot quieter.  Diego is off to 5th grade.  FIFTH GRADE!! This is his last year in elementary school.  My little man is becoming a man right before my very eyes and I'm not ready for that.  My little girl will be in school all day now too in 1st grade.  And, as much as I wished she was in full day kindergarten all of last year, I am going to miss having her here in the mornings.  I'm going to miss our car rides to the gym singing along to Ellie Goulding or having our own dance parties jammin' to Tiesto and Calvin Harris.  What can I say, she has good taste in music ;) 

This time of the year, I can't help but reflect on how they are doing and how I am doing as a parent.  I struggle with the usual and not so usual parenting woes.  Am I doing enough? Will they need therapy because of me? Are they being challenged enough? Will they follow their dreams? Am I a nagging mother? Do they know how much I love them? Why can't they just listen? Is it that hard to clean your room? Why do my kids fight?  Does it ever get easier?

I wish I had the answers to these questions.  I wish I could be carefree and easy going.  I want my kiddos to follow their path, but is it wrong to secretly hope it's close to the path I want for them? Being a parent is tough business.  Yes, it can also be rewarding and fun, but it's still really hard.  

I've always been a realist.  I enjoy being a mom, but I also enjoy having my own life.  I know it's healthy for them to interact with other kids their age and I know I need my space too, especially since I mostly work from home.  Having them around all day is challenging and I am no good at the home-work life balancing act.  So while I won't be a hypocrite and say I wish they didn't have to go to school, a part of me is kinda sad to see them go.  A part of me wishes I was that parent that could home school and work from home and have a clean house....But, the realist knows that won't work.  The realist in me knows I am looking forward to a new and uninterrupted work schedule (more on that next week!).  I am looking forward to this new chapter in our family life.  WIth our changing routine, I am looking forward to getting myself better organized so that I can be a better parent to them.  Here's to a new school year and all that comes with it!  The good and the not-so-good!  

Tell me, how are you feeling about your little ones going back to school? Were you happy? Sad? A little bit of both?  How will you be tackling the new school year? 

Product Review | Nutrition53's Lean 1 Supplements

Last month I was contacted by Nutrition53, a California-based health and fitness company, and they offered me a Lean1 Fat-Burning Meal Replacement special care package, which is part of their line of healthy supplements, for you to try out and provide a review of on my blog. 

Bill Romanowski, a former NFL player, is Nutrition53's founder and CEO.  After his career in the NFL, and with his interest in nutrition, he brought together leading doctors, scientists, and nutritionists to come up with unique formulations for premium nutritional products for a fit and healthier lifestyle. 

I received individual 6 packets of each, Lean1 & Lean 1 Pro, in chocolate, vanilla, cookies and cream, and chai flavors.  They also threw in a handy shaker, which I love and use often ;) 

Lean1 primarily functions as a meal replacement because it fulfills daily dietary requirements. It is a healthy and complete meal in a drink. One serving is 200 calories, this is of course with just water.  It also packs 20g of lactose-free protein.  Lean1 also contains 17 fruits and vegetables, 7g of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and 27 vitamins & minerals.  Other key ingredients such as Green Coffee Bean extract will aid in triggering your metabolism to speed up and burn more fats. 

Lean1 Pro is a fat burning protein shake and is not intended as a meal replacement, but rather to be used either before or after your workout.  It has 230 calories per serving and provides you with 30g of lactose-free protein.  It also has green coffee bean extract to help burn more fats and branched-chained aminos for lean muscle definition, and leucine peptides for muscle growth.  

So, now that you know what's in them, the next question is: How do they taste?  Well, they're not bad.  They're protein shakes and taste like protein shakes.  No, it's not a delicious Haggen-Daz chocolate shake but it's still pretty tasty.  Normally, I mix my protein shakes with almond milk and half a banana or a few frozen strawberries, but I had these with just water and I didn't gag!  This is a plus, since I've tasted some protein shakes that I can't finish due to the chalky taste.  I'll be honest and say I am not a huge fan of drinking my meals, so I don't frequently have meal-replacement shakes.  I do have a protein shake almost daily after my workout though.  For product tasting purposes, I did have the Lean1 meal replacement shake to replace my breakfast one morning and I was surprised that it did actually fill me up until lunch.  I won't be trading my egg white, turkey bacon, and spinach omelets for a shake every morning, but now I know that I can have a healthy and filling shake on mornings where I just don't have time to cook or when I'm looking for something a different.

Bottom line: I would totally recommend the Lean1 and Lean1 Pro shakes.  If you're like me and enjoy a protein shake before or after a nice workout at the gym, I think you'll find these to be tasty and filling.  Here's their website for more info: Nutrition53!  They also offer various other protein powders, including a vegan version, and multi-vitamins.

Do you like protein shakes?  If so, what's your favorite?  Sharing is caring!