3 ways i’m simplifying life!

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over the last several years of living in new york city with our three kids, josh and i have tried to find ways to simplify our crazy life and schedules so we can get the most out of our experience here. we’ve also worked hard to find efficient ways to stay on top of living in a 2 bedroom city apartment for our family. i’ve shared a few tips in this area before when i shared our apartment tour in this post, but it’s a challenge we’ve accepted and honestly have found great joy in tackling (for the most part).

we are always looking for new and improved ways to make life easier. we are both still too fond of urban living to give it up just yet, and honestly there are so many genius problem solvers out there who are working hard to make urban living easier, it’s amazing to think how far we’ve come in just the last couple of years with all of this.

amazon prime pantry recently reached out to see if we’d like to give their service a try. while we are amazon prime members and use the service consistently, pretty much every week throughout the year (if not multiple times each week!), this was the first time we had tried the amazon prime pantry service, and we were excited about discovering a new way to help our experience as city dwellers feel easier and more convenient.

for those who might not know, amazon prime pantry is an exclusive feature of amazon prime, where prime members can shop for groceries and household items and now can also receive free delivery by including “five qualifying items” (there’s hundreds to choose from) in your cart. then your order will ship for free all in one box up to 45 pounds.

what i especially loved about using it for the first time this past month is that i can buy every day sizes and items at a great price, as opposed to bulk sizes, since i don’t have space in our apartment to store many items bought in bulk.

in celebration of finding a new way to simplify life over here, i thought i’d share a few other things josh and i have found helpful to simplify our life and get the most out of our everyday when it comes to routines and apartment living.

love-taza-237hbfdbj5-5love-taza-237hbfdbj5-41- KEEP AND SHARE A FAMILY CALENDAR:
ever since we started working full time together from home, we’ve had to find a way to really stay on top of our schedule, our work, and our kids, since it’s just the two of us and we don’t have any employees and also try to only have a sitter for a little bit of time each week. i think we do a pretty great job of tag-teaming it, where one of us works while the other is with the kids, throughout the day. what has helped us the most here, is sharing a synced calendar where we literally write down everything. from our calls, work deadlines, to do list reminders, dates, and workouts to the kids’ playdates, outings, school and lesson schedules. everything is color coded based on if it’s for work or the kids or just our family. it has saved us and helped us get the most out of our days the past few years.


since we do a pretty good job of tag-teaming it when it comes to all things the kids, the kitchen, our work, you name it, we keep an on-going list of things we’re running low on right by the kitchen on the top of the kids chalk board wall (where they can’t really reach to color!) is it just me, or do you also think of things you need at completely random times all throughout the day?! josh and i make a point to jot it down on the wall as soon as we think of it. since we make several smaller orders through the week for household items and groceries in the name of having a small space and refrigerator. this way, whoever has a minute and is about to place an order can then check the chalkboard wall to save time. this step has really helped us stay on top of our apartment and also a fully stocked kitchen while being in a smaller space.

love-taza-237hbfdbj5-7love-taza-237hbfdbj5-63- FEWER ERRANDS = MORE TIME FOR YOU:
we have found getting as much delivered as possible is really helpful. so finding services like amazon prime pantry has also been huge. for me, it makes life so much more convenient to not have to travel to a store, roam the aisles trying to find something specific and then haul it all home. i can still find the specific products i want at a great value all from my iphone or computer at home and have it delivered.


AND, this last photo is hilariously silly, but when you can simplify your life, you can add in ten minutes here or twenty minutes there back into your day and for me, i’ve been making a goal to use that time to finish all the books i have started this year (and in past years) and only gotten a few chapters into. (is it so embarrassing that i have started all of these books and have not finished them?!) having ten or twenty minutes for a hobby each day is huge for me as a busy mom who has a lot going on. we figure even if it is 5 or 10 minutes each way to the store a few times each week, that can quickly add up to an extra hour at the end of each week to do something much more fulfilling and meaningful!

thank you to amazon prime pantry for sponsoring this blog post, and you can learn more about the service here.

  1. aubrey

    Oh this is exciting! We use Amazon Prime pretty often but after reading this post I just messaged my husband saying “we must look into amazing pantry!” haha Anyway we can squeeze more “me” time into our schedules is a win :)

  2. Allie

    Love the photo with all of the books. I currently have started 3 books and have yet to finish them…it’s like i can’t focus on just one book when another book catches my eye! hoping i can finish at least 2 of them before the year is up. good luck to you on your reading journey!


  3. brittany

    1. love amazon prime- having a pantry option sounds amazing! 2. your stripe top is perfect!

    happy wednesday!

    i’ve got current favorites for mama + babe on my blog today

  4. Meg

    My husband is a huge amazon prime fan, and i swear there is a little box on our doorstep every couple of days! He has been wanting to try prime pantry, and you are right- with busy schedules, those 20 minutes you get back are super helpful!!

  5. Naomi, Thank you for sharing and the last photo the best!!! me too I have serveral books to finish but I have no time

  6. dawn

    My husband and I use the AnyList app constantly. We always have our smartphones with us and it’s super easy to add items to the shopping list whenever you think of them.

  7. Liza

    I love reading your posts – even the sponsored ones bc you incorporate so much more!! We are Amazon prime members but didn’t know that 5 qual. items equaled free shipping. I’m much more likely to look into this service now. Thanks!

  8. Brooke

    What are your go-to items that you’re always buying? What’s your pantry stocked with?

  9. Great post :)

  10. Katelyn

    Taza, where is your shirt from? It’s the perfect striped shirt!

  11. Paige

    We love Prime Pantry, It’s been a great way to keep the cabinets stocked while having to run as few errands as possible, which is crucial with a special needs child.


  12. Amazon prime is the best but I don’t remember to use it often…I need to! Thanks of the reminder! : ) :)



  13. Carly

    Getting things delivered to the door, is the best thing ever! I’m not a fan of grocery shopping or running errands so it’s great to just be able to click orders on the couch and have it delivered to the door.

    It’s wonderful that you and Josh split the responsibilities and both contribute to all the chores and house task. It’s definitely inspiring to see to see a man being so involved in the house duties.

    Carly from http://www.AModernMomBlog.com

  14. Carrie

    Great post! My husband and I have been ordering our groceries online and it has made a world of difference! We save at least an hour and a half per week that would have otherwise been spent at the grocery store.

    Carrie | http://carrieelise.com/

  15. Hope

    We love Amazon Prime in our house and just discovered Prime Pantry too! I love the idea of gaining a little time each week by saving the time that you would use roaming the aisles of a grocery store. And I am totally with you on the unfinished books – I have so many I started and never got around to finishing! How does that happen haha? I love seeing your other organizational tips too, they are always so great!

  16. Ooh a chalkboard wall, love it! I really want one chalkboard wall somewhere in my house and one corkboard wall somewhere in my house (and one whiteboard wall??). Did you paint on the chalkboard wall yourself or did your apartment come like that? :D -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  17. Kellie

    Oh– The Happiness Project!! Still one of the best books I’ve ever read!!

  18. Elizabeth

    Would love a post that shows day in the life, hour by hour of “working full time together from home!”

  19. Holly brain

    I love amazon prime pantry! I send my daughter on a mission a package each transfer to stock her apartment. It does my heart good to know she is fully stocked!

  20. Amy

    Long time reader and live outside DC in VA. Try Amazon Alexa. You can play music and what I love is you can add things to shopping and to-do list (which syncs to the Alexa app on your phone) I just say “Alexa, add peanut butter to shopping list” and it’s added. Then I look when I go to the store (or go to Amazon Pantry.) Could make a nice Christmas present ;) Amy

  21. Love this post! My husband and I are about to become first-time parents, so I’m trying to gather up all the tricks I can.

    How do you get fresh produce and meat for your family? Do you still go to the store, or have it delivered?

  22. Katie

    My husband is a web designer for a company called basecamp. They make project management software that’s great for small businesses. You may really appreciate it’s functionality. My husband and I use it to manage our household.

  23. lou

    Whereas I like the rest of your blog, and particularly the way you always try to see the sunny side of things, I can’t agree with promoting Amazon,
    who treats its employees unacceptably, and contributes to destroying local shops.

    With all the life choices you made, eating organic food, buying ethical clothing, etc, I’m surprised you endorse Amazon practices. Here’s a good piece from NY Times you’ll maybe be interested to read : http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html?_r=0

  24. Jaymi

    My mom recently asked me “Do you guys ever leave the house to buy stuff anymore, or do you always have it delivered?” Duh, mom. Three kids 5 and under, both of us work full time, our time at home is our time at home. The last thing I want to do on top of everything else is go out shopping for anything.

  25. Amy

    We are HUGE amazon fans-we use prime pantry, because we both have long commutes on top of our 9 hour workdays, so it’s about getting time back together. We also have alexa, and we just have her add stuff to the list, so it’s already in our amazon account, and we just add it to our cart. It’s awesome and so easy, when we’re thinking of it we just say “alexa, add a soap refill to the shopping list.”

  26. Amanda

    I feel so spoiled in Seattle with Amazon deliveries. I use Amazon constantly. The two-hour Prime Now option is soooo wonderful. After a long day, the last thing I want to do is stop at the grocery store, so being able to place an order on my phone and have the groceries show up at my doorstep is amazing!

  27. Dayna Magleby

    we use the AnyList app too like above mentioned. It’s great cause sometimes I’ll think of something we need when I’m not even at home and I can just put it on the app and it’s synced up with my husband so if either one of us goes to the store we can grab it!

  28. I still love going to the grocery store but I love making a list each week before I shop! keeps me organized and stops me from buying unnecessary items.