I want to be present

This article starts with a sigh. If you follow our craziness on Instagram (@hackingtheworkingmom), things can often look ideal or at least really good. And to be honest, most days it is, all things considered! But as a working mom and in the middle of the crazy world that we currently live in, saying this is hard doesn’t even cover it.

I am torn between finding things outside of my son to ensure I feel like a human and not just a mom to balancing the desire to do other things when hanging out with him. It’s a weird struggle to have two things equally important, but at the end of the day, as a mom, I am ten times more likely to chose my child over myself.

I don’t have this figured out. I have days that I feel like super mom and others where I realize that I am constantly on my phone and looking to entertain myself in a short attention span instead of engaging with the four year old right in front of me. On the best days, those are the moments that I try to purposefully “lose” my phone on the dining room table and walk away.

I do know that if I show up for myself early, before my son is awake, I get the opportunity to work out and challenge myself. By challenging myself to show up for myself and remember that I am more than just a mom, I am able to enjoy the time with my son with a clear head. I am not as worried about all the mess and I am able to focus. On the days I don’t do that, I am easily irritated and just exhausted. Funny how not working out makes me exhausted??

I am thankful for the little moments. I am thankful for the opportunity to be his mom. I hope I never lose that perspective.

For the workouts that help me keep my sanity, follow me on Instagram at @hackingtheworkingmom or join me here.

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

Food can get boring. I get tired of the same things over and over and this is coming form a gal that could do crockpot shredded chicken with raw veggies multiple nights a week.

This recipe is from my college days. But it has stuck around for a reason.

Making it this week was with a whole wheat pasta instead of the unspecified on the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz bowtie pasta
  • 1 head broccoli (throw it all you will eat!)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 3 cloves garlic. minced (I buy it jarred)
  • 1 lb chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2-3 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c milk
  • 3/4 c parmesan (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Steps

1. Cook pasta but one minute before done, add broccoli. Drain and set aside.

2. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add chicken and Cajun seasoning. Cook 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the cream cheese, stirring well until melted and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Gradually add milk and stir until incorporated. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until melted and thickens slightly.

4. Add broccoli and hot cooked pasta. Stir to combine.

Loft 4th of July Sales

There have been multiple orders I have placed with Loft in the last few months that have my jaw dropping! I am going to share what I personally ordered along with a link to all the cute options that I saw and loved!

The best deal by far is the items that are already on sale, and the majority have good sizes in stock! When you buy four items, you get 70% off!!!

Shop it all in one place

What I ordered from Loft

These sunglasses (link) were too cute to pass up for a grand total of $6!

They aren’t my typical style but they look so fun and summery that I am willing to try to pull them off!

If you have never owned anything Lou & Grey, you should. They have my favorite joggers (linked here) that are like butter on your skin and so flattering. They have a great pink color as part of the 70% off in some sizes and the rest are 50% off.

This linen top (link) at less than $8 will be a staple in my closet!

I had a necklace similar to this from love with pink flowers and got constant compliments on it!

A statement piece (link) like this goes great with the simplest of outfits and elevates it. Not bad for $10.

The best trick that I have learned from bloggers is that it isn’t complicated. It is an expression of what you love! And you can’t have enough staple pieces.

I ordered this one in white and the shimmer gold at $13.50 a piece (link). Sweater tanks can be worn almost year round and make whatever you wear them with look effortlessly good!

Less than $9! Guys…. this is an awesome shirt for work when I eventually am at client’s again! The deal was just too good to pass up. (link)

It’s available in a floral dot and a bouquet mixed pattern as well that land at the same price point!

I have been eyeing these linen pants! (link) They are cute with so many things – flip flops, heels, on the beach, around the house, chasing a kid! They were already in my cart and I was thrilled to get 70% off the current price.

They aren’t quite as much of a steal but still not bad for just under $20!

Note: Some of these items might be final sale. If that is the case, make sure you like what you get and know it will fit well!

Extra 50% off GapFit Workout Clothes

A few years ago, I started prioritizing myself. And not just the latest fad or diet. Actually caring about how I felt and my mental health that is so closely tied to physical activity. With that, the amount of workout clothes that I needed went up! And then I realized that they are extremely comfortable when you are chasing a toddler as well!

Here are some of my favorites from over the years with links to the current items and, of course, they are on sale! I don’t do full price.

I have had multiple things from the GapFit line and I am always impressed with how much I like them! Right now, everything is an extra 50% off!

All the links are in one spot through this link or click the image below for the leggings, tank tops and sports bras!

Why is it so hard to find a good pot???

Outdoor pots are absurd. There are few good ones. They cost a pretty penny and it shouldn’t be that complex to make a decent pot. We have clothing in every shape, size and color. What’s a girl gotta do to get a deal on a pot??

I am not a gardener but I am trying… We planted some vegetables in the back yard (peppers, tomatoes, basil, etc) and I haven’t killed them yet.

I have an indoor fake tree that I have bought three pots for only to find that they were too small for it once they came in…. I swear I measured twice.

I spent way too much time trying to find planters today. Here is what I ordered and my other top picks.

1. Pottery Barn “Leah White Patterned Raised Planters with Gold Stand

Guys…. They literally have my name in them. What was I supposed to do? I am going to plan the roses that I have outside in these along with pansies that don’t have anywhere to go because the plants on my front porch were twice as big as I thought.

2. Crate & Barrel Haeden Medium White Planter

This one was a favorite but the size wasn’t exactly what I needed. With 40% off their pots right now, this was a good price!

3. Pottery Barn Granada Acacia Wood & Metal Planters

These were a splurge that I have on both sides of my front door, but I LOVE them. I am working on finding the right tree to plant in them that is evergreen. If you have good suggestions, make sure to drop them below. Fair warning, this is a large planter.

4. Zea Medium Yellow Footer Planter

I adore this yellow color and wish I had the right thing to plant in it!

Here are a few other options that I loved as I searched but weren’t quite right for me.

Loft Sales for Summer!

Fourth of July is just around the corner and with that comes awesome sales!

I have never been one to love white pants. I have a four year old. What am I thinking??? But today, I slipped into my favorite pair of white jeans because I own too many blue t-shirts to not own white jeans. They are effortlessly a good outfit.

All the items in the link, you can mix and match with the exception of the color block halter that wouldn’t go well with the linen pants. Too much flowy 🙂 But it would look incredible with the white jeans!

In case you aren’t feeling the white pants, there are a comfy and cute pair of khaki shorts instead!

Here is the outfit I threw on today and my silly pup made a sneak appearance. You can shop these jeans by clicking the image along with a few similar shirts.

Nightly skin care routine

I would rather spend money on my largest organ than dump it into makeup that will make me look flawless. At the end of the day, my health is more important than my look!

My make up routine is 3 minutes. My nightly skin care routine is more like 7 minutes. Where you spend your time will always reflect your priorities.

My latest addition is this Vanity Planet cleansing brush and I’m loving it! I ordered a silicone brush that was five times this price and sent it back because I couldn’t justify it and didn’t feel like my skin was that much cleaner. This was affordable and left my skin feeling cleaner than it’s ever felt. On top of that, the replacement brushes, when needed are affordable.

Macy’s Home Sale

I love a good deal and am in the market for a few things since moving into my house a few months ago. I have more bathrooms than I did in my old house and need to get some towels to make sure there are things in each bathroom when guests are in town. I love the throw that they have for $20! I just have to think of the right place in the house to put it.

Macy’s runs some killer deals! And this one is no exception. They also have a filter online that allows you to filter by how much it is discounted by! This way you can shop the things that are 80% off or 70% off instead of just a full 40-80% off sale of thousands of items.

Here were some of my favorites from the home items. You can see them through the links below or on LikeToKnow.it at http://liketk.it/2Rc46

1. Martha Stewart Bath Towels $4.99

2. Martha Stewart Reversible Down Alternative Comforter – ALL SIZES are $19.99!!!

3. Decorative pillows – plaid and striped $20.99 and $25.99

4. Patterned twin or full sheets $8.99 (twin)

5. Lacourte Lockhart Throw $20.99

Loft deals

I very rarely do anything full price. I want my designer stuff on sale as much as my every day clothing. I love Loft. I don’t get paid to say that! I seriously love them. It’s good quality and I can land serious deals.

Here are two simple and cute outfits that could be worn for your daily activities. Use code SUNNY when checking out.

Shopping this in the LikeToKnow.it app is the easiest way to get directly to the items. You can find me by searching under Influencers with hackingtheworkingmom or with this direct link.

Shop the Look

Easy gel nails at home

This one can be intimidating but long before Covid, I was doing my gel nails at home. I love getting my nails done but there are two problems – it’s pricey and it takes so much time out of the house!

There are two brands I use in this video and both serve a purpose! Gelish is a solid choice all around. It lasts a long time and the quality is great! Gel Len is so affordable, but I don’t think it lasts quite as long with that base and top coat. I use the Gelish base and top coat typically and a Gel Len color in between.

I linked the products that I used below. The LED light that I have is years old and not available anymore but I linked a good one that is reasonable and great! Make sure you get a LED lamp instead of UV as it takes half the time to cure your nails.

If you have any questions, make sure to comment below and if you do your nails, post a picture!

Products used:

Gelish Nail Surface Cleanser

Gel Len polish set

Gel Len base and top coat (most affordable option)

Gelish basics set (ph bond, base, top and nourish)

                The Ph Bond goes on after cleansing and before the base just around the edges of the nail bed.

Gel UV/LED lamp