Mom Car 101: What to Keep in your Car At All Times

Listen. We’ve all been there. I have used my shirt as a Kleenex before. I have caught vomit in my hand before. I have done some weird mom stuff, because when you’re in a pinch, you’ll do all kinds of crazy things, just to keep the day running as smoothly as possible.

Sometimes it’s helpful to have anxiety, so that you can think ALL DAY LONG about all the terrible situations that could occur, and how to help solve them. I give you: Mom Car 101. Here’s my short list of the things I keep in my car all the time.

Mosquito Spray – It’s not Texas Spring and Summer until the helicopter mosquitos are buzzing about. I keep a bottle of kid-friendly mosquito spray in my car, and I also keep the you’re-gonna-die-of-deet-poisoning stuff in there too, for Mom and Dad, because Texas mosquitos laugh at anything less.

Sunscreen – The only thing worse than whiney babies at an event or outing is whiney babies who are burned. Lather ’em up and get going.

First Aid Kit – Complete with all the good stuff, like alcohol wipes, Bactine spray, and fancy Band-Aids (duh).

Hand Sanitizer – the biggest bottle you can find at H-E-B. Just kidding, kind of. If Mom cars could be shown in a special germ-showing light, we’d all be horrified. Kill the germssssss if you can.

Clorox Wipes – Keep these handy for accidental coffee spills, which happen NO JOKE on a daily basis for me. When am I going to learn to just get a taller mug?

Baby Wipes – Because sticky donut fingers don’t belong on the windows, guys. Wipe it off!

2 Reusable Grocery Totes – Not just so you can look and act like the environmentally-conscious person you’re supposed to be, but also because if you’re like our family, your car is like a Ross store, with shoes and clothes strewn about. When you’re in a hurry and need to pack up your kid for unexpected events, like SCHOOL EVERY SINGLE MORNING, there’s your bag. Boom.

Small Purse – This one is just for you, Moms. Keep a small purse handy so that when you eventually get to go out and have a little bit of fun by yourself (LOLOL) you don’t have to lug around a giant diaper bag purse. Just put your Burt’s Bees, ID, and debit card in there and you’re free as a bird!

Car Smellies – Because I have accidentally left a McDonald’s chocolate milk jug in my car over the weekend TWICE, and there’s just no getting that smell out quickly. Survive the drive with car smellies.

4 Grocery Bags – Maybe this is only for the Mom’s who have PTSD with catching vomit in your hands, but it’s always helpful to have some throw-away bags handy. Vomit, dirty diaper, trash – you name it, it goes.

Ziploc Bags – Do you know how many times I have cursed myself for not putting a stash of these in my car sooner? Many a Pop-Tart has been squished into a carseat, all because I wasn’t prepared. Pack those zipper bags and thank yourself later.

Extra Blankies – Keep two lightweight blankies (we like Aden & Anais) in the car, in case you leave a big event hoping for a quiet ride hope while the kiddos crash in the back. The minute I give my kids a blankie (even the four year old), they’re OUT like a light. Victory.

One Complete Outfit/Kid – You’ve gotta be prepared for pizza sauce stains and peepee/poopoo accidents, so pack up an extra outfit PER KID so that you can quickly change them from one birthday party to the next, and no one at the next party can talk about you being a hot mess.

Diapers & Undies – Ok, so this is an obvious one, but again, YOU NEVER KNOW with the accidents, and in my experience, the more prepared you are for this situation, the better it goes when you’re calm, cool, and collected during the undie-change. Like, “Hey, Mom’s got this. I do too.”

1 Pair of Pajamas/Kid – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We are old and boring and we hate fun. So, the minute we leave a late-night party or get-together, we change the kiddos into PJs so that they can go straight to bed when they get home. The less interrupting we have to do, the better.

All-Occasion Cards, Gift Bags, and Tissue Paper – There isn’t a birthday party we go to where the gift has been wrapped and card is written out before we get in the car. (Be prepared, have extra). This applies to “good to see you!” lunches with friends, or last minute holiday gatherings you attend. Be prepared to tell your host/friend “you’re the best!” They deserve it and you will feel AH-MAZING.

Notebook and Pen – Listen. I love digital lists as much as the next guy. But also, paper, always. I have literally kept a journal/notebook in my car since I was diagnosed with depression, because you never know when you need to write down some cray-cray feelings. Also, these are SUPER helpful for last minute grocery lists, or to do lists. Pro-Tip: If someone in a parking lot is driving too fast and almost runs over your kid, this notebook is also helpful for the “SLOW DOWN, BITCH” note you plan to leave on said car.

BONUS: Dog Treats – Why the hell is Lola carrying around dog treats in her car? Well, guys, it’s because I’m crazy. I have found/returned/helps stray on stray on stray dogs (when I don’t have the kiddos in the car), and these dog treats have been helpful in wrangling the friendly, wiggly, nervous doggos that just want to get back home. Treats = DOGGO’S BEST FREN. One time, I didn’t have treats with me, and I legit used a can of cake frosting to lure a little guy back to his mom’s house.

That’s all I have, y’all. What do YOU carry around in your Mom Car? Share with me! Happy (and safe) driving around in your Car of Preparedness. xo

The Crazy Lady Plans: ’17-’18 Planner Setup

What do you get when your military dad busts you for screwing up the plans? Alliteration, in a cheesy form, of course! The 6 Ps, according to Papa:

Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

My eyes still hurt from rolling them back into my head after hearing this so much in my younger years, but DAMN! He was right. I love planning, friends. In fact, you could say I looooooooove planning. My BFF and I were talking the other day about how we’re not the type of people who you can casually invite to the beach last minute, even if we didn’t have kids. We would not be fun people to do that with. (“Sure I’ll go to the beach with you, but first, let me pack my sunscreen, first aid kit, bandaids, etc., and also, we need to leave in 22 minutes in order to beat the traffic, mkay?”) The sheer thought of last-minute plans makes me a little itchy.  But don’t get me wrong, y’all. I don’t always get it right. I meant to post this blog this morning, and here we are at the end of the night. So, there’s that. Cheers!

You might be able to imagine now how excited I am to start my new planner. Somewhere along the way last year, I got a Day Designer for Blue Sky Academic Planner  that I ended up loving, so the crazy person in me hates it a little bit that my year “starts” in June instead of January, but you know what? We roll with the punches. And also, I don’t have time to start a new damned planner in January. Can I get an AMEN?

I’ve been thinking about my planner setup for this year, and made a plan (surprise!). I wanted things simple, accessible, and fun. I decided to go with the same brand of planner, because it’s made by Day Designer, one of my favorite planner companies, but also made for Blue Sky, which means it’s reasonably priced and is made available for me and the other commoners at Target. I’ve spent upwards of $75 on a planner, but I’m at the point in my life that I’m okay with a $30 planner too. It’s so pretty, see? Love.

For the monthly spread, this edition has nice, big, lined squares, and a laminated tab for the month. Bonus points for that rainbow effect on tabs. GIVE ME ALL THE COLORS. On the monthly spread, I decided to keep it simple and only include:

– Bills
– Birthdays
– Pay Days
-Goals for the Month

Not so bad, right? It’s not covered in anything too obnoxious. I added some stickers, but the main focus of my monthly page for me will really be a bill tracker to help us figure out where money will be coming out, and how much money we’ll have to spend on fun things. You know, a BUDGET. Frick, we’ve been bad lately and plan to get better. I think. Whatever.

For my weekly spreads, I’m repeating bills, birthdays, pay days, and holidays along with:

– Meal Plans
-Important dates for Knowing Lola
-Weekly spending reviews
-Monthly tasks on the actual day they fall on
-Any other random stuff that pops up!
-Stickers (DUH).

Again, I don’t want it to end up being too crazy so that it takes me longer to “plan” and decorate than it would to do half of the things on my damned to-do list. Like, I’m happy for the people that can spend hours on their planners, but I personally can’t mentally dedicate that kind of time to my planner, because I would lose my mind, make sense?

I even made a fancy page marker that is removable, that I plan to keep on the monthly page for now. It’s got reminders of things I need to take care of on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. For now, I think this will help me just engrain in my head that I’ve got a lot to do, but it’s all right here in front of me, and I can stop rocking back and forth now, and it’s going to be okay.

I know this will evolve as the year goes on, but I’m excited to implement my new “rules” and ideas into my new planner. CHEERS to a happy, organized 2017, even though it’s almost GD July. Better late than never. Also, it’s fun to pretend like I’m in college again with my academic planner. (Someone meet me at Antonio’s on Northgate for some pizza!)

I made a quick little video of my planner bag that I’m keeping close by while I plan. Before you watch this and judge the shit out of me, I’d like to say that I KNOW I am privileged to have this many stickers in my life. I KNOW these are white-girl problems and that there are bad things happening in the world. But I’m holding on to my stickers for dear life, and clinging to the idea that I have a little bit of control in this crazy, weird world.

Watch that video here, if nothing else to be amazed that they make this many different stickers for grown-ass adults:

I hope you find a fun way to be organized, but if you don’t, you can find solace knowing that some days I literally write “NOPE” in my planner, because I just can’t. I’ll also continue to send emails to myself at 3:30AM while going pee because that’s when God seems to think is a good time for me to remember ALL THE THINGS.

I love you all. Happy planning, or non-planning. Be nice people. Take your meds. See you again soon.

Happy January, Y’all!

Happy New Year, Friends! It’s the best time of year for planner-obsessed people like me. It’s January, and that means it’s time for a fresh start. I managed to find some time in my favorite room in the house today. I opened the curtains and watched the cold rain fall, while I spread out out my 2016 planner goodies and made some plans for this year.


(Left) My 2015 Inkwell Press LiveWell Planner (Middle Left) My Erin Condren LifePlanner (Middle Right) My Whitney English Day Designer in Chloe Floral and (Right) My Erin Condren Address Book

For the past month or so, I’ve slowly been pulling useful information (birthdays, anniversaries, payments, goals, deadlines, etc.) from my 2015 Inkwell Press Planner and transferring over to my 2016 Whitney English Day Designer (detailed post coming soon about why I switched and how I plan to use it). But today, I spent some time with my 2016 Erin Condren LifePlanner and decided this is where would do my ListersGottaList, since I don’t have a whole lot of time to make an individual book per month.


2016 Erin Condren Planner in Watercolor Palette

If you haven’t heard of ListersGottaList, I’ll give you the two-second version: Cori, aka TheResetGirl loves lists, and she creates daily prompts so you can create your own lists. I’ve been following #listersgottalist for quite some time now, and it’s so much fun watching people create beautifully ornate lists on a daily basis. It’s also fun to see other people like me who have enough energy and time to make the simplest list, like the ones below, and that’s okay too. It’s a perfect, non-intimidating way to journal your life. I LOVE that!


My first two ListersGottaList for 2016

As much as I love a big, blank canvas to play on, most days, I only have enough time to jot down something simple anyway. Bonus: If your sticker bucket is as ridiculous as mine, then you need all the help you can get dwindling that down anyway.


I have so much to be thankful for, and I’m planning for a great year ahead. Keep an eye out for more frequent posts, now that I’m not cutting off body parts any time soon. (Mastectomy joke, see what I did there?)

I hope you’ve had time to sit back and reflect on 2015, and plan for an even greater 2016 like I have. Happy New Year, everyone!

The Lazy Lady Plans: My 2015 Planner from inkWELL Press

We’re 10 days away from 2015, and I’m totally ready!

Just kidding.

I feel like I’m already behind. But I am pretty excited that I have a pretty little planner to help me feel at least somewhat ready for the coming year. I ordered my inkWELL Press liveWELL planner a couple of months ago, and I’ve been staring at it ever since. There are probably a million planner reviews on this planner, so I won’t go into all the details, but I’ll show you the parts that made me push that “Click to Order” button. You’ll see below that you have an option to personalize your planner in gold foil lettering, and there are 12 fonts to choose from. The tabs are laminated, so they won’t tatter easily.


The planner is not a small one, measuring 7.5 x 9.5 inches and about one-inch thick, but this is a good thing it you’re like me, looking at those small ass planners, wondering, “Who the hell are these people that can fit their reminders and appointments in a 1-inch by 1-inch square?”


When you open the planner up, there is a nice little page for your goals, separated into sections: Personal, Social, Financial, Health & Fitness, House Projects, and Dream Big. (Dream Big, are you kidding me? How cute is that?) I like this section because there is something really endearing about seeing your hopes and dreams written out in front of you.


Keep flipping through and there is a handy little “Important Dates” section, with six months on each page, so you can see a spread of big events happening in the upcoming year. I’m going to limit this to anniversaries and birthdays, because I don’t want to crowd this section with things that might overwhelm me when I look at them. I basically want this to be my “Send You a Card” page that makes me smile when I open it up.


The daily section is offered in two different ways: the liveWELL Classic and the liveWELL Flex. The Classic layout has the days broken up into hours. I chose the liveWELL Flex, because I work full time, and most of my day is spent at work where I have a separate planning system that I use. That’s not to say I won’t add work stuff into my planner from time to time, but my main focus for this planner will be for my family, which brings me to the next awesome point of this planner.


There are three little sections off to the right of each day, which are: Meals, Home, and Fitness. These are especially helpful for me because I like to make meal plans for the week, if I can, and this gives me a chance to see what’s coming up. I can’t tell you how many Whataburger trips we’ve taken because I forgot to take something out the night before. The “Home” section is nice too, because for me, it’s a little less overwhelming to see “Hang up Clothes” or “Sweep Kitchen” than it is for me to see “CLEEEEAN,” which is what I’ve done in the past. Maybe it’s stupid that I have to play a mind game with myself, but when the smallest things can be overwhelming, I’ll take any help I can get. Planning baby steps to my bigger goal of a completed house project makes me more motivated to do it, rather than feeling overwhelmed. Then there’s the “Fitness” section, which is super helpful, especially if you’re me and totally counting mental fitness as fitness in 2015. Sure, I’ll probably plan some yoga or a walk around the block, but you bet your butt I’m also planning some naps, hot bubble baths, and crafty time too.

Let’s not forget to mention the paper quality. I’m weird, and I love paper. Like, really. So when I felt this paper, a little piece of me died and went to Heaven. Is that dramatic? Maybe. But this paper is thick enough to make you sing “I’m So Fancy,” and thin enough so it doesn’t feel like you’re writing on cardstock. I dare to you run your fingers over this paper without saying, “Yay!” or “Oooooooh.”

I really feel like inkWELL went out of their way to get inside the minds of the crazy planner people that like walking through the year with a little bit of hand-holding, because not everyone has their shit together as well as those Filofax people do. And look at these sections they added to the back of the planner. (Good Books to Read?! Come on, I’m dying!) Even if I don’t have a ton of time to read these days, a girl can dream, right?

Screen shot 2014-12-21 at 3.42.31 PM

I spent almost $70 on this planner, and before you roll your eyes at me, know this: the good Lord knows I don’t have $70 to be throwing around at will, but I made room in our budget for this thing, because I know that having a planner helps my brain feel organized, and my heart at ease. If you’re a planner nerd, a mom struggling to remember things, starting a business, or just planning for your wellbeing, then REJOICE! my friends. A planner exists for you and me.

What are your big goals for 2015? How do you plan to stay organized?

P.S. Don’t let the super-awesome, proactive planner fool you for one second: I spent my entire Saturday in my pajamas, snuggling with Maggie, and I think I got one load of laundry done, but I can’t even be sure of that. So, yeah, I’m awesome.