MT Tribe Showcase: Working Mom Magic

Today’s MT Tribe member is my name (and future initials when I’m married) twin Lauren from Working Mom Magic. This girl and blog has got it going on! She is a fabulous working mama (as you can tell from the title… duh ) who has tips on everything from fitness to parenting to her favorite wines to just about anything that can make you awesome! I adore this blog!

family picHere is a little about Lauren from her blog: ” I have spent the past 12 years working as a TV news producer. Currently, I’m the dayside executive producer at the ABC affiliate in Miami.  There’s plenty of reasons why I love my job… I get to do something different everyday, I meet tons of interesting people, and I am always learning about new things and products.
Between work and looking for fun things to do with the kids, I feel like I am constantly on the go! I am obsessed with my Kindle, good wine, and SLEEP! (something I never get enough of). I started this blog with the hopes of helping other working mommies and getting some help myself!”

You can read more about Lauren on her About Me Page


I loved Lauren’s post 10 Ways to Get Happy Right Now. January is kinda sorta maybe a miserable month. After all of the splendor of Christmas, all of the fun is gone and our houses (and bank accounts probably) are an empty shell of the fun that once was. I completely agree that we’ve got to start being happier in this bleakest of times of the year. Maybe then we would all keep our resolutions. You definitely need to read her post and put a smile on your face!

And leave Lauren some social media while you’re at it:







Getting it Together in 2015: The Bod

PicMonkey Collage

Or lack thereof I should say.

Truth is I feel crappy today. I’ve got so much good going on in my life and so many new beginnings that I really just feel drained. I am trying so hard to get a morning routine down and I am failing miserably. MISERABLY. This morning I overslept and feel like a walking zombie. My kids are always “saved by the bell” late in the mornings to preschool and I spend my drive going over the list of what I just did to get ready making sure that I didn’t forget to brush my teeth or fix a kid’s hair. I don’t know why I feel overly tired. I don’t stay up all hours of the night. I definitely don’t over-exert myself during the day. All of the kids sleep through the night. My job is the opposite of strenuous. So what gives?

Why do I feel like the Night of the Living Dead every morning? Why don’t I have the energy or willpower to make it all happen? I’ve given you all tips and suggestions for kicking off this year when all I need is a kick in the butt.

So naturally I thought… it’s got to be my mattress. Well, yea, my bed isn’t the cloud of comfort I would like but I can’t blame it all on the mattress. It’s me. Me as in my habits. Here it is lunch time, and all that I’ve had is a few sips of diet coke. DIET COKE which pretty much equals poison in a bottle but because it is diet it must be good. Pathetic I know. Might as well go get that honey bun out of the vending machine. I haven’t had any water today or food for that matter. My body can’t wake up and get it together today because I haven’t given it the means to do so.

We all know that drinking water is so good for you. We all know the benefits. If you don’t know, check out the pin and site below:

Pin: 20 Unbelievable Reasons to Start Your Day with Lemon and Water

Website: LA Healthy Living

Or even this pin and site:

Pin: Why Dehydration is Making you Sick and Fat (Wow like that brutal honesty)

Website: Engineered Lifestyles

And we all also know that water is yuck (in my opinion). I really hate water. It tastes like pipes and disease and your mouth when you wake up. I know it is in my head and the taste is actually because I am dehydrated like severely dehydrated. So what better way to hydrate myself and drink water but by sheer and annoying force. That’s right, I’ve downloaded an app complete with notifications.


You can find it here or by clicking on the image. And so far well not really so good but I have to do this for myself. I can’t continue to feel this way in the mornings especially. At almost 30, I could care less about the image, but care way more about the feeling better. I don’t want it to be a trend because it’s January. I want to feel better because it’s 2015 and I’m not a kid anymore. I need to do this to get the rest of my life together. And to commit to this, I will post a Weekly Wednesday Water report. I’m going to give it a go and hopefully kickstart other healthy habits.

Great! Fantastic! Super Excited!

Now to go drink that @$&#*! glass of water… And buy my sack of lemons…

Getting it Together in 2015: The Mama

PicMonkey Collage

Sometimes “getting your life together” is cleaning up your junk or balancing your checkbook. Sometimes it is organizing your linen closet or sweeping out your garage or weeding those bushes. And sometimes the work to be done is a little more internal. Sometimes it’s getting the “mama part” of your life together.

Now I’m not going to give you one of those spiels about how I suck at being a mommy and you suck at being a mommy and we all suck at being a mommy. Look ladies, our job is hard. Sure there are some mamas that do actually suck at parenting and we have to encounter the product of their laziness (ie: the brats with no shoes on running around terrorizing and begging for coins at Chuck E. Cheese while mama texts boyfriend of the month)… we know those mamas and those aren’t the mamas I’m talking to. I’m talking to the moms who actually are attentive and nurturing and care for their kids. The mamas who bust their butts trying to perfect a science project and chauffeur kids from ballet to soccer to piano lessons. The mamas who scrub toilets and give baths and cook meals and pack lunches and do their best even when their best isn’t enough. We need to stop being hard on ourselves and realize that we can’t do everything all of the time. We need our alone time and we need our time just to simply be.

Be the lap that holds a child.

Be the voice that reads the story.

Be the hands that maneuvers Barbie into her little pink corvette.

Be the kisser of cheeks.

Be the snuggle bug.

Be the 3rd or 4th or 5th player of Frozen Chutes and Ladders even when we get stuck being Kristoff and really want to be Elsa (I’m just sayin…)

Be the quarterback.

Be the song and dance leader.

Be the mommy.

We get so wrapped up in making their childhoods perfect by crafting and cooking and making sure that everything is age-appropriate, gender-neutral, not damaging to their health or brain, and preparing them for Kindergarten/College that we forget that they are just kids who want mommy to play with them.

I’m guilty of doing. This year I want to get it together and just “be.”

I don’t have a pin. I don’t have a website. Pinterest literally has a million of them from experts that aren’t me. I’m not giving you advice. I don’t have a secret trick to make you not yell. I don’t have the answer to your child’s temper tantrums. Honestly, I’m going to have days where I need to do other things besides give my kids undivided attention and that’s okay because they need to learn to occupy themselves and problem-solve on their own. I’m going to sit on the couch and catch up on my DVR’d shows or spend time wedding planning instead of playing dress up. I’m not going to commit to 30 minutes a day or 5 times a week. But I am going to listen to them and when they ask me to play, I’m not going to obsess about the one load of laundry that needs to be done or the seven dishes in the sink that need to be put in the dishwasher. I’m going to stop doing. I’m going to be.

And in those times you will create moments like this:

Getting it Together in 2015: Remodeling, The Outside

PicMonkey Collage

The exterior of my house needs help. It has so much potential but years of under-maintenance to deal with. J did his best to keep up the home, but did not have a woman’s touch at all. I may not be able to do much to the interior of my home this year, but you better believe I am going to do some cleaning up outside. I tried my best last year to clean up as much as I could. I tried planting azaleas but it was too late in the season I believe. I also tried remodeling my mailbox area like the pin below, but it still needs help.

This isn’t my mailbox. This image links to the website. I wish my mailbox had an iota of the charm of this beaut.

Pin: Mailbox Landscaping

Website: Gibbs Spot

My papa told me the other day that I needed to get rid of “all this shit” around my house meaning all of the bushes and weeds. I couldn’t agree more and am going to be working my tush off on nice weekends in the upcoming months.

One of the biggest eyesores is my carport. It is TERRIBLE. I have done my best to maintain some sort of order but there is none. We can’t even park comfortably side by side in there. And being that I am planning to recreate Elsa’s Palace in the space for the girls’ 5th birthday party, I better get to it.

Here are some of my favorite carport and garage remodel pins:

Pin: Mudroom/Carport Entrance

Website: Curbly (Roundup of 6 Mudrooms)

Pin: Carport Organization

Website: Inspired Organization

Pin: Garbage Can Storage

Website: Link no longer works. Hopefully I can find it later on figure it out

Pin: Secret Garage Door

Website: Houzz

I can’t wait to make the outside of my house look as good as most of the inside does. If you are in the middle of a remodel, just know that these things take time and Rome nor your house was built in a day. I can’t wait to show you all of my projects for 2015 as they are completed. I hope you all are having a wonderful 2015. Now back to wedding planning (that consumes my life) and getting my house together…

MT Tribe Showcase: Legendary Mama

Legendary Mama is the tribe member for this Featured Fan Friday for MT Tribe. Samantha is one mama that’s got it going on! Not only does she have flawless fashion tips and a clothing line, but also… get ready for this… 7 youngins! And she has the perfect balance to life as a mom and professional.

The Minors

Stories of life raising 7 kids from ages 8 months to 16 yrs old. I’m a SAHM with a clothing line and obsessed with fashion and makeup. I understand not all moms are interested in fashion and makeup so I blog about all of that over on My Legendary Style 


Samantha has also blogged over at The Indie Chicks about life and tips of a Career-Minded Mama. I love that she isn’t afraid to put herself first outside of the home from time to time. It is amazingly hard to balance work and mommyhood, and these tips are incredible. Such a great reminder that we are mommies but also hard-working women! Great post girl!

Check out her blogs and be sure to leave some social media love:







Getting it Together in 2015: Remodeling

PicMonkey Collage

Last year around this time I was moving from one house to another and taking on some pretty impressive remodeling tasks if I do say so myself. We have so much more to do, and I feel like it probably will never get done. With a wedding coming up, I doubt we can afford or will have the time (or energy with all that wedding lovin🙂 Sorry mama!) to take on any huge tasks this year. But I do have a few minor things planned as well as some outdoor redos for 2015.

Pinterest can definitely help a sister out when it comes to remodeling, but it can also make a woman feel completely inadequate. I do not own a circular saw. I have no idea how to paint without messing up the trim. I hear you telling me this is an easy pallet project, but 5 splinters and a sore index finger later, I’m not buying it. Our Pinterest feeds and boards are filled to the rim with all of these beautiful ideas, but unless you have a carpentry apprenticeship or interior design degree under your belt, the recreations turn out a little less spectacular.

But the beauty in DIY is just that Doing-It-Yourself. Sure my remodels may not be worthy of a repin, but they are certainly MY remodels. It may take me three times as long as a professional, but the feeling of accomplishment makes the project shine with pride.

This is how I feel about my DIY bathroom. Of course there are still many things about the bathroom that I still need to change. Sorry for the TMI, but every time I’m on the potty, I look around, not only at what needs to be changed, but at what I was able to do with my own two hands. Here are a few photos of my bathroom:

Before and After


A couple “behind-the-scenes” of the remodel



And a few “afters”



My kids think every picture I take is of them…




Crazy things!

Here are the pins I used for a little “pinspiration” for my bathroom remodel:

Pin: Color Scheme and Wainscoting

Website: Relax Decor

Pin: Paneled Wall Boards

Website: HomeGoods Blog


I also have a post about for Boat Cleat Toilet Paper Hanger. It is one of my favorite parts of the remodel. You can find out how to make one for your bathroom here.

As for a remodel this year, I am chomping at the bits to change up my back entryway. My house is plagued with bookbags and coats and hats and school shoes that find their way to every part of my house. We just simply do not have a good place to put all of the school stuff. I’m combining two pins I found for the remodel. I’m planning on hanging school pictures in frames above the hooks for their bookbags and adding the “bookcase bench” under the hooks with cloth bins for shoes and hats and gloves. I cannot wait to finish this project and share it with you! Here are the two pins I am using for inspiration:

Pin: Bookbag Hooks

Website: Little Daisy Mae (Site Access with Permission Only, but the pin shows the picture)

Pin: Bookcase Bench

Website: So You Think You’re Crafty

And I know that it will look amazing once finished. I’m hoping that this summer or before the start of next school year, I will have this project completed and my floor will be litter-free of school junk once more!

What projects do you have planned for 2015? Check out my Pinterest page for lots of ideas. Hope you are slowly getting it together this year. Check back this weekend for my plans for the outside of my house!

MT Tribe Showcase: Verified Mom

Verified Mom is next up for the MT Tribe Member for Featured Fridays. Phyllis of Verified Mom is a funny, honest and incredibly caring woman who posts wonderful tips for your home, crafts, and recipes, as well as tons of other things that help a mama out.


I’m Phyllis, busy mom, wife, entrepreneur and blogger.  I am the mom of 3 children ages 16, 13, and 10  and I have been married to my husband since 1995.  The family has a golden retriever, Dakota, and two fish and we all reside in a suburb outside of Chicago, Illinois.  As a business owner, I started a well-known celebrity gifting company in the WAHM community where I have gifted thousands of celebrity new moms and their babies.  As a blogger, I have multiple sites that targets a variety of readers.  I live in non-organized chaos and I love it!


I love the Feng Shui post that was posted recently. It’s my kind of post because it mixes beauty and feeling good with organization. It is so important to surround yourself with inspirational quotes and things to make you feel relaxed and calm especially when working. Great job Phyllis and your desk looks gorgeous! Be sure to look at all of the ideas for Feng Shui for your workspace.

And while you are at it, give Phyllis some social media love:






Getting It Together in 2015: The Bills

PicMonkey Collage

Little update on my new house organization/getting up early plan: Today I’m doing WONDERFULLY! I woke up 3 whole hours before I had to leave the house. Of course, the kids are out of school for the ICE STORM OF 2015 (aka there was one slick road in the county so we had to close school) and the college had a two hour delay, but who cares! Baby steps, people, baby steps! We will see how tomorrow goes.

So for today’s get it together post I’m going to talk about something that you either have or don’t have. Well actually two things you have or don’t have, one of those being money. But what I really mean is organization. Some people simply AREN’T. I mean messy desks, stuff all over the place, toothbrushes in the kitchen drawers, AREN’T. The OCD in me cringes. I am definitely an organized person. I can’t function if things aren’t in their places. I love putting things in special baskets and containers and making sure that my dishes are stacked and color coded and my clothes are hung separated by color and sleeve length. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

But I know that there are people out there with complete chaos in their kitchen cabinets and linen closets. They function and some may even function better than if they are organized. And that’s fine, to each his own. However, I’m convinced that in one area of our lives we need to have it together because it deals with two of the most essential and precious things for running a household: time and money. And it is important in my house that we save and utilize both of those things to the best of our abilities.

We all need a system to budget and keep up with the bills. This is my low point of organization. I’m a “lister.” I write tons of lists all of the time. My problem in writing lists is that I often throw them out and re-draft a similar list. I constantly re-wrote budgets until I found the website that “pinspired” me to change how I budget my family’s money and organize our bills.

Bills Collage

Pin: Organize Your Household Bills

Website: Echoes of Laughter

We don’t completely follow the system. Here are a few of our changes:

  • We have two folders, One for January-June, One for July-December. We wanted two smaller notebooks instead of one huge notebook.
  • Each month has a divider and a print out of our budget.
  • The budget is broken down weekly for the month and includes all bills that need to be paid each week.
  • Each paper bill is behind the budget.
  • In between each month we have a two-sided plastic envelope divider thingy (being really technical here) that I hole-punched to house all receipts of bills paid and documents collected for the month. All paycheck stubs are placed here as well.
  • I have a calculator at the front of the binder as well as our checkbook that is rarely used and a few pens and highlighters. Each item is highlighted once it is paid.
  • And when a new year comes, you keep everything you need for tax purposes and shred the rest!

In revisiting the pin, I do believe I will add the calendars in front of the budgets this year. I really like how it looks visually. I love our “bill books.” J really is so much more relaxed (he is the one who is OCD about the organization of money) with the system.

One thing we struggle with financially, as many people do, is saving. I’ve seen this system floating around now on Facebook and Pinterest and we decided to give it a go.


Pin: 52 Week Savings Plan

Website: Madam Money

For this year, we are going to follow the plan but may double the amount next year. I also think we will just transfer the amount into checking monthly rather than weekly. Also we are going to commit to tithing more this year and have partnered with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Hope you are all getting it together in 2015! If you need to clean up your “Clean up My House Plans,” find out how to get your house together and eliminate that once-a-week stressful day of cleaning in the process.

And check back for more ways to get it together in the new year with Twin Tested, Pin Approved!

Getting It Together In 2015: The House

PicMonkey Collage

I have a confession. My Christmas tree is still up. In fact all of my decorations are still up. I hate it. I love my decorations but they are wearing out their welcome. Plus I am ready for a fresh new year and when the remnants of the holidays are still hanging around it is nearly impossible to feel the newness of a new year. I will have them down soon, don’t worry. It’s a process kind of like packing up the car after a week at the beach. No one wants to do it and everybody moans and groans putting the stuff back in all of those little boxes and wrapping it up so it survives until next year, but once it is over and your floor isn’t messy with a million pine needles, you all feel so much better. Refreshed. Renewed. Ready to embark on the new journey of the year.

I posted my “Downtolutions” last week. Most of my resolutions are minor self-improvements that are mostly about me and making me feel better and more put together. However, when it comes to my house, I am already pretty good at keeping it together. I don’t like to clean but I like to have a clean house. Winter is by far the worst season for cleaning. Everyone just wants to sleep and cuddle, not get soaking wet scrubbing floors and washing dishes. I don’t want to vacuum, I want to be warm and cozy. So I admit the cleaning fairy in me slipped a little over Christmas break. I blame those dang decorations. Once the tree is down and things are put away, you better believe that I’m going back to my normal clean house routine.

So what’s my routine? I don’t really have a cleaning schedule per se, but I do try my best to follow a little guide to keeping the house clean. Nothing is worse than trying to clean a house that has just been piled up with dirty or clean laundry and dishes and unmade everything. My motto is that if you clean a little bit everyday, then when it comes time to do the “big cleaning” once a week, it will be easy peasy.

I used to be one of those mamas that waited to clean. I literally tried to do all of the laundry and cleaning in one weekend. I found myself spending all of Sunday night scrubbing floors and folding clothes and washing pots and pans. I would be rushed to watch Downton (if it was during those precious few months with new episodes) and staying up until midnight to make sure my house was clean enough for the babysitter. I hated Sunday evenings and would find my “yelling voice” when my toddlers didn’t want to jump on the cleaning bandwagon at 8 pm. Then I found the pin below and it changed my approach to cleaning my house:


Pin: 10 Habits for a Well-Run Home

Website: The Stressed Mom

If you clean up a little bit everyday and establish these habits in your home, not only will it instill responsibility in your children, but I’m convinced that everyone will be much happier. Have you ever noticed that a car magically seems to run better after a car wash? Or how much better you feel after a shower? The same things goes for your home. A clean home will make all of those living in it much more pleasant and feel safe and secure.

Confession 2. I’m doing pretty good with all of those habits except for the morning routine. I suck at mornings. I sound more like a drill sergeant than a loving parent. I read a sweet letter today that made me realize how much I really do suck at mornings. It reminded me that my little children are just that, little. And if I am rushed in the morning and they aren’t getting ready then it is my fault alone. True story. Parents we are responsible and we are to blame if our kids aren’t ready in the mornings and aren’t prepared for the school day. We, myself included, must have a routine in the morning that will get us and the littles out of the house with less tears (mine) and ready and prepared to face a day. Part of that is waking up early which sucks but is necessary. I found the perfect little pin below to help in establishing a morning routine. This mama knows how to get it together:


Pin: How to Establish a Morning Routine

Website: The Inspired Room

I am committed to making this change in my life to be a better mom and to run a smoother household. Wish me luck! It sounds easier at noon than at six in the am.

Check back this week for more ways to get your house together for the New Year!