Tools I Use to Keep It Together


keep my sh*t togetherFirst of all, I’ve already led you astray. Keeping it together is not actually something that I do on a regular basis, but play along with me. Because life is crazy. Am I right? Yes. Here are some tools that have helped me to at least keep the Hot Mess Express on the train tracks (most days…sometimes).

As a note: I’m not getting any perks for giving kudos to the products/tools below (but I should – so hit me up). 

Fitness Blender: Before my days as a mom, I got hooked on these “Workout videos for every fitness level. Absolutely free.” The fact that I could get in a really effective workout all within the means of my apartment, with little to no equipment, was right up my alley. As a mom, it’s even more valuable to me. Here’s why Kelly and Daniel of Fitness Blender have had me hooked for over six years:

  • Free workout videos that can be filtered by duration, calorie burn, difficulty level, body focus, training type, and equipment needed.
  • Two, four, and eight-week workout programs that are inexpensive and are yours to keep and use again in the future. My go-to are the FB 30 programs where all the workouts are around 30 minutes long and they make the absolute most out of your minutes.
  • Their perspective on health and fitness is so refreshing. In a world where the lower the number on the scale or on the tag of your pants is valued over how you actually feel in your skin – Kelli and Daniel shift the focus to working realistic and highly effective exercises into your schedule and working toward creating a healthier overall lifestyle.
  • It’s with you wherever you go. No excuses here. Since Fitness Blender is available online, and many of us have the convenience of the internet at our fingertips, your gym virtually goes with you wherever you are. In front of the TV, in the nursery, in the basement of your in-law’s house, in your hotel room, on the beach…you can’t say that you couldn’t “make it”. While there are workouts where weights are suggested, there are also many options without weights or body-weight only. Soup cans can also work – just sayin’.
  • Modification is the name of the game some days. Kelli and Daniel will often highlight modified versions of the exercise. There are certain exercises that I’ve not been ready for yet. There are some days that I’m just not feeling it, but I don’t want to throw in the towel entirely. There have been times where I’ve injured myself and the modifications allow me to continue with my workout. Whatever the reason, modifications help you to keep going, grow, and get better. Don’t quit – modify.

Panda Planner: When I returned to work, I really struggled to keep all my commitments afloat while still having the energy at the end of the day to care for and enjoy my daughter. I felt at a constant state of being underwater and had anxiety over items that I knew I was forgetting about. Being completely lost in my to-do list and not knowing where to begin, I looked into some tools for keeping all my sh*t together and came across Panda Planner. Here’s what I love about it:

  • Daily, weekly, and monthly sections are great for seeing things from high, mid, and “we in there” levels. Having the opportunity to look at the month, week and day ahead of you puts you in control and allows you to see where opportunity is. Have you ever felt like you were extremely busy and then looked back and been like, “but what did I actually do?” Usually, what you did was burnt up energy by spinning your wheels and not finding time to treat yo’self. Having a visual of your day isn’t just beneficial for seeing what all you have going on, but where all you can build in time to NOT do anything or to get out and do something for fun instead of for necessity.
  • Starting my day with intention sets the tone for success. While there are some mornings that I have so much that I just want to get going on that I don’t want to stop, is still take my 5-10 minutes for planning. By looking at the day before I get going, it helps me to sort out the chaos in my head and gives me confidence in what I really need to accomplish.
  • It helps me look beyond my to-do list. It is so easy to get caught up in the, “I need to do this…I need to be here…I have this deadline…I missed that deadline…” that your days can go by without even thinking twice about all the good that came out of it. On the daily pages, there is a morning review where you outline what you’re grateful for and excited about. And then at the end of the day, you track down your wins and how you’ll improve. Imagine if the bookends of your day were focused on positivity instead of the bazillion things you have to do and the bazillion things you didn’t get to? Yeah. It looks preee-ty nice.

Grocery Pick-Up: I find anymore that if I don’t order my groceries, we just don’t have groceries…and we don’t eat. Well, not really, but we aren’t eating well! There are several grocery stores that now offer online ordering and curbside pickup. It is so worth the service fee, my friends! I have had some small hiccups and one big blunder, so it’s certainly not without fault. But, let’s face it, grocery shopping isn’t exactly a stroll through White River State Park either. Here’s why it’s worth the fee:

  • I ain’t got time for that. Seriously, taking an hour out of the day to grocery shop is just not typically in my cards. And if it is, there are so many other things that I’d rather be spending my time doing than at the store.
  • It forces me to plan. My world feels 100x less chaotic when I at least have a plan for how I’m going to fuel my body (yes – chili cheese Fritos are fuel, too). By creating a list of items to order, it forces me to think ahead on what meals I’ll be making.
  • I save money. It’s all about the Benjamins, ya’ll. I don’t know about you, but I can leave the grocery store with a lot more than I intended for. Did I have double stuffed Oreos on my list? No. But they looked good. That doesn’t tend to happen when I’m searching for exactly what I need, versus stumbling upon what sounds good to me in the moment. Also, many of these stores offer digital coupons. I will sometimes plan my meals around what items are at a deal. I’m not the best at remembering coupons (and even worse at fumbling around with them in the store), but I can easily add them to my order online.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Honey: Save money with this free tool that searches the web for available promos and automatically applies it to your order. Holla!
  • Password App: Do me a favor right now. Download one of the many password apps (I use 1Password) and store all of your passwords in that one place. The password reset is tired of your shenanigans.
  • Datebox: It’s so hard to find the time (and a babysitter) for date night. But, it’s really important to create that time for you and your partner. At the end of 2018, approaching a year into parenthood, my husband and I tried out Datebox. It’s a monthly subscription “helping couples rediscover date night.” We have LOVED it. They’re super cute and fun; we’ve not been disappointed in any of the dates sent to us to do within the comfort of our home. They’ll send you most of what you need, and will give you a list if there’s anything else you need to pick up. Bonus: you can wear sweatpants.

These are just a few things that work for me. Perhaps they don’t work for you – but perhaps they do. That would be cool. Remember that one of the best things you can do at the end of the day is to offer yourself forgiveness and laugh about the true comedy of it all.

If you have something that helps you, help someone else and add them in the comments section!


  1. Krysten, I love this! I tried the Panda Planner this year too! It was a little overwhelming for me but I love the concept and am working hard on setting a daily intention and recognizing and celebrating achievements more often!

    • Thanks, Kristi! Glad you enjoyed 🙂 The Panda Planner is pretty involved and definitely took a little bit for me to really commit to, so totally understand what you mean! Forcing myself to take time to plan and write down my intentions and wins are harder than expected!

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