4 // Phrases I’m Overusing Right Now


Daniel Tiger helps me parent better. I mean, seriously, that is one genius preschool feline. Those little phrase/songs get stuck in your head, they’re repeated twenty times an episode, and before you know it, your two year old is telling her brother, “if you feel mad and you’re going to roar…” It does the work for me.

It is also a good reminder that having a succinct phrase to help reset or refocus can be very powerful. Phrases don’t have to be perfect, and they might not work forever, but a wellworn phrase at the right time can cut your work in half. They help us know what to expect and get us where we need to be efficiently.

Here are four phrases I’ve got in rotation:

1// “Kindergarten is full of surprises!”

Cruz came home from school with that one. He and I were chatting one day about how the class had missed a minute of break time (or something… it’s sometimes hard to tell) because they had a hard time getting quiet. “How did you feel about that?” I asked. “Well,” he nodded sagely, “kindergarten is full of surprises.” That Mrs. Solodon is a genius! I thought to myself for the one hundredth time since September. I’m going to use that. You can use this phrase any old way you want. Bedtime is full of surprises! Afternoons are full of surprises! Birthday parties are full of surprises! This is much more cheerful than my exasperated, “I have NO IDEA of who is going to be at the park… if the lion will be out at the zoo… if we have any cookies at home.” The park is full of surprises!

2// “Let’s experiment.”

I grabbed this one from Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. Like yours truly, she likes do things that she knows she’ll be good at. Ahem. Saying “let’s experiment” to myself takes the burden of success away. It’s just an experiment (and it’s full of surprises!): the only result needed is data. Was it good? Was it bad? I find out and then I know. As someone who does not like risks, I say this to myself a lot.

3// “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away.”

Of course we need a Daniel Tiger phrase! There is a child in this house who shall remain nameless that recently told me that their potty accident was caused by being “too busy.” Uh-uh. Too busy will not work. (And I sure hope I’m not overusing “I’m busy” but I think I am and I really hate that phrase) So we’ve busted out this magic phrase. Everyone knows it. Everyone uses it.

4// “Hey man, I’m just doing the best that I can!”

Stolen from… Brene Brown? Elizabeth Gilbert? I can’t remember where I first saw this, but it is a game changer. The other night I bought a pack of diapers. The checker (bless her heart) asked me if these diapers were for my current baby or my upcoming one. Uuugggghhhh. There is no one on earth that enjoys being mistaken for pregnant. I immediately felt embarrassed about my little tummy and took a mental inventory of whether or not I could fit in some extra runs or a new meal plan… shhhh. Hey man. I’m just doing the best that I can. End of story.

Those are my overused phrases right now. I can’t wait to hear your overused phrases below!


What Works {in April}




Life is short and precious. We should do stuff that works. Here’s what worked for our family in April!


+ I think I’ve tried every pen out there, and OptiFlow is BY FAR my favorite. My handwriting is always my favorite with these pens. They are a Staples brand pen and not available on Amazon (please, please Amazon), but worth getting your hands on. I’ve used OptiFlow for years and have never been let down.

+ It’s spring. All of our allergies suck. Quick fix! Rub some Breathe Easy Rub across the bridge of your nose. Feel super glamorous. Start breathing again.

+ I’ve set a new goal for myself to drink Greens every afternoon. In an effort to take better care of myself and to deal with my monthly hormonal fluctuations (*ahem* putting it nicely), I’ve been drinking Greens, which, in addition to being awesomely good for me, has replaced my regular probiotic and magnesium supplement. Look. Today I took the kids on two separate fun outings, substituted at my old job, came home to work my other job, played with the kids, blog, clean the kitchen… cheerfully. Greens, you guys.

+ When it comes to my house, I’m more of a Mary than a Martha. At the same time, I realize that when my home is clean and uncluttered, I feel less stressed and more comfortable.  I started following Clean Mama on Instagram, and it’s been a good solution for the last few months. Every day she posts a different 15 minute cleaning task (Mondays are bathrooms, Tuesdays are for dusting, etc) and when I’m done with it, I get to double-tap the picture. I just do what she tells me and there’s a little reward. Clean Mama, you are awesome.

+ In the space of one week, London broke two of my favorite necklaces by pulling hard on their chains. Not again, sister! The Jones Market to the rescue! (The exact necklace I recently ordered is sold out, but isn’t this one gorgeous and wouldn’t it make a great Mothers Day /Birthday/Anniversary present??

+ My morning hour is so sacred to me. I get up at 5:30, do pilates, read my Bible, journal, and whatever else I can get done before Cruz and London wake up. I’ve been going back through Robin’s 28 Days of Pilates series and am loving how fast I’m feeling results. She’s got another Pilates Summer Series that started yesterday! Even if I’m easy going about the rest of my day, I notice a huge difference when I can be disciplined about the morning.

That’s what’s working for me… what’s working for you?

Want more things that work?


What Works {in January}

Life is short and precious. We should do stuff that works. Here’s what worked for our family in January.

Products and practices that make life simple and sweet

+ I had a gift certificate to Sephora to spend in December and I did a little crowdsourcing on Instagram to find out what I should try. Benefit was recommended almost universally, and I ended up taking home many, many of their products. My favorite is the Erase Paste under-eye concealer. I wear it religiously and have been told many times that I looked refreshed and well rested. I rarely feel that way, so Erase Paste must be the answer!

+ I watched this Dove video and it shot me straight through the heart. London’s curls are out of this world beautiful, and the idea that someday she might feel less beautiful because of her hair… not on my watch! So I’ve been wearing my hair curly more than ever and have been loving L’Oreal’s EverCurl line (I’m sure the Dove video is supposed to make me buy Dove products, but Target didn’t have any of their curly-haired line).

+ Now that both kids go to preschool/daycare, I pack two lunches, and was getting frustrated with the myriad containers and bags we had floating around. I could never find what I wanted or I would need two but only one was clean, nothing stacked… I will always take my friend Kelly’s advice, and she uses these Bento boxes for her kids. Here are my two big selling points: 1) they stack for easy storage and 2) the lid seals the individual containers so that nothing spills over.

+ Another product tip, courtesy of London… my sweet girl has got the world’s driest skin. I have tried everything to keep her skin comfortable and nothing has really seemed to work until we found the Honest Co’s Healing Balm. This stuff is magic for her skin! I usually use it at night.

+ If you read my post about thredUP, you got a pretty good idea that I love cleaning out my closet. Love it. To make it even easier to clean out and purge our belongings, I designated a box in our bedroom for all donations. I throw stuff in there constantly, and when it’s full, I just dump it all in a bag and take it to the thrift store. Easy peasy.

+ Here’s a shout out to Croc rain boots! (Me from four years ago is picking her jaw up off the ground) Easy to put on. Easy to clean. Our pair of Croc boots is onto the second child and they are as good as new. London’s yet to find an outfit that she can’t improve with rain boots.

Now it’s your turn! What’s working for you?

Want more things that work?

What Works {in July}

July! July! It’s the best month of the year! In July we celebrate Tovi’s birthday, our anniversary, and my birthday. It’s busy and fun. Things feel really loose and easy-going in our house right now. Our kids are going to bed later, we’ve made a lot of trips to Yogurtland, and we’re finding a lot of reasons to celebrate the small, everyday moments. And of course, we’re still working hard and keeping our family on track. Here are six things that worked in July.

WYWN_July_Works+ One of my 2014 goals was to “grow up and drink some water.” I recently bought a giant adult sippy cup from Starbucks and I love it! I’ve been drinking so much water with it. I think that the straw is key– somehow I can guzzle a lot more water through a straw. It doesn’t hurt that this is a cute cup. (Honestly, if you need to remember to drink water, get a cute cup)

+ Trader Joe’s is my homeland and I just noticed this bag of frozen kale! Has it been there for a long time? How could I have missed this? This little bag of kale is the best. It’s already chopped finely and couldn’t be easier to add to smoothies, chili, pasta sauce, rice…

+ She Reads Truth has an iPhone app! It’s beautiful and easy to use. If you’re looking for a daily devotional, She Reads Truth is a great place to start. Having the passage of Scripture, commentary, and comments/encouragements all in one place is awesome. A note: the app is free to download, and the plans are $1-$2 each. The plans are free on the website and can be delivered to your inbox. Having the Word at my fingertips is invaluable and the sweet team of women at She Reads Truth have done a great job with this app.

+ So it’s July and it’s been weirdly humid lately. I’ve been paring down my make-up, usually skipping foundation and blush because it feels weird in this hot, sticky weather. What I never skip is mascara and brow gel. It’s a quick easy step that makes me look awake and pulled together.

+ Dot markers. We call these “dot dot markers” and looooove them. This is a no-mess way to paint and have fun.

+ I would NEVER let you down in the t-shirt department! Never! It’s time to order an Everlane t-shirt immediately. They are $15. They are ethically produced. They wash beautifully. I ordered two, then Tovi ordered two, then we each ordered more! We’re obsessed. The Cotton U-Neck is my fav.

And speaking of kale… my dear friend (and nutritionist) Drew is launching her seasonal Restore cleanse. This group tune-up starts on August 3rd and there’s still time to sign up! I am really excited to try this out and see how I feel at the end of the seven days. Drew is so supportive and encouraging and fun– I know I’m in good hands.

So how about you? What’s working for you this summer? xo.


What Works {in January}

i am always trying to simplify our lives. less stuff, less stress, you know the drill. part of me realizes, however, that our lives are always changing, so our needs are always changing. what seems to work well in one season doesn’t work well in the next. so here’s what works for me… for now.

dream matte mousse. this is make-up that i bought at the grocery store on a total whim on thanksgiving morning. there could not be a sadder cosmetic purchase than that. so, i was clearly going into this with very low expectations… and have been extremely happy! this take 0.5 seconds to put on, is a light coverage, i feel like it lasts all day. and is $8. win win win.

the walgreens photo app. you guys. the walgreens photo app is genius and walgreens is about to make a million dollars from hipsters and instagram-obsessed moms. you open it up, the app pulls up your instagram feed, click click click the pictures you want and, not even kidding, they’ll be ready in less than an hour. it’s genius.

babymel diaper bag. i carried my trusty petunia picklebottom almost every day for three years… and it was just time. i was tired of it. it was worn and smelly. i got this babymel from nordstrom and couldn’t be happier. because of the stripes, obviously. but some other things too– with the boxy shape of the ppb, i spent too much time digging down deep into the bag before i found what i was looking for. this bag has more pockets and a wider shape. (this picture doesn’t do the bag any justice)

+ ekhart yoga on youtube. we’ve been doing some yoga over here. i wish we were doing more, but whatevs. i like these videos because they are shorts and effective. my friend robin also has an online pilates program coming out in february, and i hope to get that into my routine as well! (maybe that will be in what’s working: feb edition)

wit and wisdom jeggings. this is another recent nordstrom purchase and wow. softest jeans ever. they keep their shape and make YOUR shape look amazing. people have asked me if i’ve lost weight or have been working out (hahahaha. no.). i feel great in these.

+ three goal lists. i first read about this idea from hayley of the tiny twig, and because she’s wise, i decided to give it a try. wow! hello, productivity. at the beginning of each day, i make six goals: three for home/life and three for work. after those tasks get done, i feel free to add more to my list, but narrowing it down to three goals really helps me to prioritize my time. i end up feeling really productive, and tend to get the tasks i dislike out of the way faster.