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Can we step back from the on-slaught of Life Hacks for a minute? Because I need to tell you about my favorite magazine. Don’t worry, it’s related to our 31 Days Theme.

It’s not a design mag, wood-working mag, family mag, celebrity mag, or fitness mag.

(Does it sound cool when I say, “mag” instead of “magazine”? It saves me 5 letters of typing and I feel fashionable when I do that. Life Hack #3.5 = Use Slang)

outside magazine cover

Introducing: Outside Magazine, with which I have no affiliation and no relationship. Except that I subscribe to it. And read it. Every single month, from cover to cover. Do you want to know how many magazines we subscribe to currently? Just one: Outside Magazine.

Do you see me as an outdoorsey person? As an adventurist? A little crunchy granola, back-packing, braid-wearing climbing girl who wears real shoes most of the time?


Me neither. But I love that magazine! It’s the photography, the writing, the in-depth stories that take me all over the world, the complete lack of inappropriate/risque advertising, and the way it takes me out of suburbia.

And guess what their October 2013 issue is? THE SPECIAL LIFE-HACKING ISSUE.

outside magazine special life hacking issue

The heavens have aligned and the editors of Outside Mag and I are on the same wave-length. Call Mount Everest and tell it I’m on my way.

Suddenly we have another Life Hack for us Mediocre Moms: Read Something Unexpected.

Read something weirdly good. Read something your dad would read. Read something your brother would read. Assuming you have a cool brother who reads. Read something a raving liberal/backward conservative would read. Ride a bus, watch the people on the bus. Spy what they are reading. Then read it. Go to the library, ask the librarian what’s good. I don’t know. Just kidding. Don’t do that. If you go to the library, you’ll want to check out a book, and then the librarian will inform you that you owe them $39 in late fees from last summer. That ends awkwardly. (I know!) Stick to magazines.

Maybe just stick to Outside magazine. And start with this month’s issue: The Special Life-Hacking Issue. But since you probably don’t have the mag in front of you (yet), I’ll get you started by showing you my very favorite passages/quotes from this issue. Maybe even some of the photography. I’m in a sharing mood.

Please note: I am a stay at home mom of 4 who sometimes goes on family hikes with her family. I like to run. But sometimes I don’t run for a few months and then I get lumpy and guilt myself into running again. I backpacked into the Wind River mountains with my family when I was 11. About an hour into the hike, I got whiny/hungry and my mom told me that around the next bend there would be a little snack stand with food. I believed her. (We’ve had trust issues since then.) That’s the extent my my Outside-ing. I thought you should know that before we moved on.

Look at this:

outside magazine strategies for living bravely

This issue is stuffed full of “127 strategies for living bravely.”

That would be a GREAT topic for a 31 Days theme! It’s probably been done 127 times already. So you wouldn’t even have to be brave to blog about that.

But doesn’t it feel good to tell yourself that: LIVE BRAVELY. (“Hey, Angie, live bravely today.”

It’s special.

I just made a decision. I’ve shown you the cover– now I will show you the “parting shot”, which is a feature on the back page of every issue. Usually it is an amazing (AMAZING!) photo taken by a daring photographer. This issue? It’s a compilation of Jack Handey advice.*) If you see the cover, and see the last page, will that make you want to read what’s in between? I decide yes.

(Actually, I was going to show you more, but somebody is blaring dance tunes at 7:00 am in the house I am staying at here in Utah, so I have to go break. it. down. No more blogging. ‘Til tomorrow.)

jack handy


Jack Handey says, “Set goals for your friends and relatives to achieve. Check up on them to make sure they are meeting their goals.” See? Good advice.

That makes two things you need to do today in order to hack your Mediocre Mom Life:

1. Read Something Weird

2. Set goals for your friends and occasionally call to follow up. You can start with me.

*When I was in junior high, my BFF Leslie would pick me up for school every single day. I would climb in her car and she would hand me the tear-off page from her parent’s 365 Days of Jack Handey Quotes calendar. We would laugh super hard. I know that’s not funny to you right now, since you aren’t me and you aren’t 13 years old. But the fact that Outside Magazine ended their issue with quotes from Jack Handey just completes my life.

Life Complete.

No more hacks needed.

Until tomorrow.

life hacks for mediocre moms 300



Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms
#3) Do Different

by Angie on October 3, 2013

Welp. Now that I have my priorities straight and my goal-oriented schedule worked out on paper, here I am on a trip/vacation- a couple thousand miles from my home and routine.

This is odd.
This is hard.
This is good.

life hacks for mediocre moms 300

It’s October 3rd, you know. We are only on day #3 of the 31 Days Challenge, hosted by El Nester.
(In my mind I always called her “Nesterine!” in a sing-song voice. It’s the name that my mind made up for her back when she was a secret agent man.)

We are exploring Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms every day this month.

In other words, I’m amazingly mediocre and ok with it. But I’d like to build some self-discipline, find direction, and kick my own butt into gear this month. You are walking that path with me. I’m excited that you are here. >>Let’s snuggle about it?<<

FYI, good buddies– I’m not going to give you 31 specific Life Hacks this month. That’s too much hacking for my real life mediocrity. I suspect we’ll cover somewhere between 15-20 decent Life Hacks/ Advice/ Tips. I’m actually attempting to apply those hacks in my own life, so from time to time, I’ll just fill you in on how I’m doing. We’ll fist bump each other, we’ll laugh at my failures and re-commit when needed.

Today’s Life Hack for Mediocre Moms is: Do Different

Today I’m in Salt Lake City at a corporate convention for a company called doTerra. I was talked in to attending this conference by my brother and my mommy. doTerra is an essential oils company. I’ve been playing around with their oils for about 18 months in secret, but haven’t told you about them because I have issues. More on that later. But the stuff I am learning this week is pretty much blowing my mind. And it’s annoying, because I was fine with the mind I had before it exploded.

Is there an oil that will repair blown minds? Hold up, I’ll go ask.


This isn’t a post about essential oils, sillies. I’m bound to write that post soon. This is a post about doing something different. It’s about breaking out of your routine and the power that comes from that change.

The effect of “doing different” has a magical effect on stubborn mediocrity.

Example 1 of how “Doing Something Different” is good for the Mediocre Mom:

Charlie has been very clingy on me lately.

Here we are, in the bathroom together, because he just really “needs” me to join him for that business:

charlie and mommy in the bathroom

“Hold me. Hold me. Hold me. I’n a hold you. I’n a hoooold you! Hold me!”

It’s enough to drive me nutsy. But for the two days before I left on this trip (as the looming separation approached), it was me saying, “Can I kiss you right now, Charlie? Kissing time! Can you snuggle my neck right now please, Mr.? Get over here and let me tickle your whole self!! That’s an order! Oops! I forgot something… I forgot to kiss your belly!” The anticipation of being away from him for a week completely erased my annoyance with his “hold you” phase. Guess what he kept telling me, at completely random times in response?

“I love you so much, Mommy! Can I marry you, pleeeaaase?”

And he also told me, “I like to say ‘poopy’. I just really like poopy, mom. It’s a bad word and I just like it!”

He also mentioned, “I wanna be black like Barack,” during one of our snuggle sessions. Honest.

But let’s focus on the “I love you so much’s”!! LOL.

Because I was leaving on the trip (something very different for our family), Charlie and I started to get worried that we would miss each other A LOT. We had a mutual love-fest in response. It was a good thing.

I’m hoping that The Manchild will be the lucky recipient of Charlie’s quirky love while I’m gone. That Little Mama’s Boy is really missing out on some fun Daddy time when he constantly yells, “I WANT MOMMY TO DO IT!” This trip is different, hard, and good.

Example 2 of how “Doing Something Different” is good for the Mediocre Mom:

A couple of weeks ago my in-laws visited us at our house in Virginia for about 30 hours. They hadn’t been to our house for a couple years and even though the visit was short, it was just the jolt I needed in my routine.

You can interpret that to mean I cleaned my house/finished projects/worked like a DOG for a week in preparation for them to come. It’s a daughter-in-law code. We all do it. You know we do. The Archibalds were coming off of the laziest summer ever, plus 3 weeks of sickness in the house. The house was a total wreck before they arrived! BUT NOW?!



(You can interpret that to mean “tidy.” Clean is really hard to come by in a literal sense en mi casa. If you like to scrub floors and dust, I’ll pay you a million dollars to come do it at my house. Minus the million dollars.)

The biggest/nicest change occurred in our bedroom, where I had been seriously neglecting some things. I had left a stack of framed photos leaning against the wall for a couple of years. Never hung them. I had bought a big mirror to hang above our dresser last year when we were pretending to move, but never hung it. In fact, it still had cardboard packaging corners stapled to it and was sitting on the dresser. Also? When we remodeled our master bathroom last year I never caulked the baseboard trim or grouted the marble threshold tile I had laid. I didn’t have a night stand and really had wanted a nice chair for a “sitting corner” in the room. Done. Done. Done. Done. Done.

My room is freaking awesome right now. Not magazine-worthy. But peaceful, more complete, and happy.

Charlie walked in there the morning after my in-laws left and said, “Did you…. move your bed or something?? I love it in your room!!” Me too, little buddy. (Sorry I keep talking about Charlie. I haven’t seen him in a few days. I’m obsessed, apparently. My other kids are cool too, though. Hi, kids. Mommy loves you.)

Example 3 of how “Doing Something Different” is good for the Mediocre Mom:

If you run 5 miles every day, you are burning real calories, executing a healthy habit, releasing endorphins, and working your heart and muscles. Etc, etc, yada yada. But if you want to improve your speed, wake up your mind, and really lose weight, you need to RUN SUPER FAST once in a while. In intervals. Until your body feels like it’s going to explode and your mind is screaming, “I CAN’T DO THIS! STOP KILLING ME! I HATE YOUR FACE!”

But don’t be scared. Because once you complete that last impossible interval, you’re gonna jog/float home feeling like a freaking rock star! It’s true! You feel a brand new force in your life that only comes from doing something different and hard.

Guess what else might happen when you are bold and do something different and find great success/ see with fresh eyes? You’ll likely start looking around at your life and finding MORE road blocks/ hard things that you previously thought you couldn’t handle. Tackle them. Get ’em done. It’s sorta fun.

So… whatcha gonna do differently this week? Today? This month? Talk to mommy.

p.s. Charlie really did ask me how he can have a black face and cool black hair. (Be African America, he means. My 3 year old is not politically correct.) I gave him the bad news that he isn’t black and usually your mommy and daddy have to have black faces for you to also get your own black face. He was mad at me for having a “white mom face”. Then I kissed his not-black face a hundred times and smelled his “not cool black” hair. He’s not giving up though. Stay tuned.

p.p.s. Somebody please send Charlie to me. This is hard and different. The end.

life hacks for mediocre moms 300

Catch these other Life Hacks in my 31 day series:

#1) Roles, Goals, and Dreams 

#2) Bite Size Your Biggies

#3) Do Different

#4) Read Something Weird

#5) Exercise Yourself

#6) Zero Dark Early

#7) Manage Your Moods

#8) The Power of a Good Thing

#9) Church it Up


Hi. I have a confession to make. I’m in Utah.

So, to recap:

a) I haven’t hardly blogged in the past… year?
b) I’ve decided to blog every single day in October.
c) …WHILST also committing to self-discipline and self-preservation (a new regiment for me!) during this month (which alone could kill me, setting aside the fact that I’ll also be making time for blogging every day)
d) My computer is broken

No biggie. No sweat. It’s day #2 and I’m still here! Haven’t jumped ship on this 31 Day Challenge Yet!


I’m in Utah for a week with my daughter Sam. Except I won’t hardly see Sam while I’m here. She’s got fun plans. I’ve got fun plans. The Manchild is at home with the other kids and some VERY DETAILED hand-written instructions on how to function as a single dad in “Angie’s House”. The freezer is stuffed with dinners, the laundry is ALL CLEAN, and I’M FREEEEEE!!!

freezer meals

More on why I’m in Utah later…

Today’s “Life Hack for Mediocre Moms” is: Bite Size Your Biggies

Yesterday I told you that writing down my priorities, goals, and dreams was EPIC for little ol’ me. I LOVED IT. That exercise alone gave me steam for days! (See above comment about the freezer full of meals and clean laundry. BOOM!)

But the e-book Tell Your Time, which I’ve been using as a jumping off point for my life make-over told me that I need to break down my larger goals into actual steps/tasks and THEN do something with those tasks. I had to decide if they were negotiable or nonnegotiable and whether those tasks were flexible on a calendar or fixed.

This part of the exercise was pretty stressful for me. I felt like every one of the tasks on my list were non-negotiable, yet flexible. Meaning– everything is super important, but I have to be the one to decide when they take place. Yikes.

When all was said and done I had a hand-drawn calendar that looked like this:


(p.s. I think it’s funny that I personally needed to do this activity in pencil on paper, as opposed to electronically. I don’t think I would have been able to really engage in the mental exercise of planning an entire week if I were doing it with taps and clicks of my fingers/mouse on a screen. There is something really invigorating about eraser shavings on a paper! I miss it!)

Lessons I learned by breaking my larger, beautiful, inspiring goals into steps/tasks on a calendar:

  • a) I actually do have a lot of time to “work” on my projects/blog while Charlie is in school/at playgroup. wow. 8-10 hours a week, plus nap times if needed.
  • b) I need to fiercely protect that time from being whittled down by other needs/distractions that could be done during the hours I am with Charlie (cleaning, church group meetings, yardwork, errands, lunch dates)
  • c) I must wake up at 5:30 if my priorities are going to be accomplished (exercise, scripture, prayer, planning, showers). First things first.
  • d) I can’t allow myself to get on the computer in the morning or none of the aforementioned things are going to be accomplished. (There simply isn’t time in the morning to “squeeze” in a quick blog post- especially seeing how much time I SHOULD have available during planned blogging time if I use it correctly.  The morning routine is full of super-valuable tasks that can’t take a back seat to poor planning/execution from the previous day.)
  • e) Certain time blocks revealed themselves as absolutely ideal for certain tasks. I never realized that they were there before. This exercise brought those points out very clearly. ie, Friday afternoons simply must include planning time for the next week and Monday absolutely MUST be grocery shopping day. If I botch those two things up, I lose those valuable work blocks that I need mid-week. Mind-blowing realization here.
  • f) My stress levels were really high while trying to iron out my schedule. This rigorous scheduling is against my nature these days. But when I looked over my finished product, I was relieved to see “cushion” hours every day where I could relax or catch up if things had gotten too crazy.
  • g) I know that things will change and kids will get sick. I will have to adapt, of course, to the ebb and flow of days and weeks, but I now have this to fall back on. And by seeing the full week laid out I can visualize the consequences of standing in the kitchen pretending to be productive while actually doing absolutely nothing. And eating. Always eating. :-) I can see that every hour is valuable to me.
  • f) Lastly, I was forced to look at my “dreamer” goals, write down literal steps/tasks that would take me there, and then insert them into my week. That was cool. Little by little this way of thinking and planning could get me somewhere closer to those once far-off places I’d only dreamed about before. Maybe.

A wise man recently taught me something interesting about goal-setting. He said, “Your goals should be big enough to make you a little nervous. But also feasible enough that when you plot the tasks required to accomplish them into the timeframe you have available, you find peace and confidence.”

And that’s where I am today. Give it a try? Go ahead and Bite-size your biggies.

Catch these other Life Hacks in my 31 day series:

#1) Roles, Goals, and Dreams 

#2) Bite Size Your Biggies

#3) Do Different

#4) Read Something Weird

#5) Exercise Yourself

#6) Zero Dark Early

#7) Manage Your Moods

#8) The Power of a Good Thing

#9) Church it Up

life hacks for mediocre moms 300


life hacks for mediocre moms

Here we are, kicking off Day #1 of our 31 day series “Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms”!

Today’s Hack? Define your Roles, Goals and Dreams.

It may be October 1st, but I’ve been easing myself into this new, purposeful way of life management for a couple weeks now. It’s already making a huge difference for me and I’m really excited to tell you about it.

Guess what I did FIRST off, before even deciding what Life Hacks we would talk about and enact this month? I pulled out an e-book that I’d downloaded several months ago. It’s titled, “Tell Your Time: How to Manage your Schedule so you can Live Free” by Amy Lynn Andrews. <– that’s an affiliate link. But inserting it was an afterthought, not my motivation for buying, reading, and sharing this book with you. Duh, guys.

tell your time

See? There it is on my iPad!

Wait, back up, let me tell you a story about a lady I know. She’s the mom of 4, a working mom, a model (really), a real friend, and just the nicest person you’ll ever meet (that’s a good thing, or it would be so easy to hate her). Her name is Crystal. I was at her house one day and gawking at some cool projects she had just thought up and executed in a matter of days (between workouts on the treadmill and pole-dancing lessons that she was taking in secret to surprise her husband with) and I said, “Crystal I hate you.” And then she punched me in the throat and I realized that she also knew karate.


I said, “Crystal, I’m going to ask you a question and I don’t want any bull crap answers. Are you ready to answer me honestly?”

She was.

I asked, “How do you do so much? How do you accomplish so much? How do you have it all together?”

And she said, “Honestly, I have one talent. One gift from God. It’s time management.” And then I punched myself in the throat.

I’ll never forget that conversation. Ever.

So when I decided it was time to “Hack my Life” and fix myself up, I went straight for the book on Time Management. Thanks, Crystal (who just gave birth to twins, shows no physical signs of that event, and remembered to text me on my birthday last month. I haven’t even seen her in, like 3 years. She also happens to be cousins with one of my very favorite blog readers. Hi Courtney! Let’s stop talking about Crystal, the girl with the sparkly life and sparkly name.)

Guess what’s fun about “Tell Your Time”? It’s short. 32 pages. So it doesn’t take much time to read it! But truly, it gets right to the point. What does take some time (and effort beyond my traditional mediocre browsing through self-help books) is actually executing the steps that the author advises.

And here is how we came upon today’s hack. FIND YOUR PURPOSE BY DEFINING YOUR ROLES.

I sat in bed one night and did just as Amy Lynn Andrews told me to do. I’m a good do-er. I thought of 8 roles that I have. She made me list “Self” and “Dreamer” but the other ones I got to pick.

So here are my 8 primary roles:

1. Self

2. Wife

3. Mother

4. Sister and Friend

5. Blogger

6. Homemaker

7. Sharer of Talents and Passions

8. Dreamer

Allowing myself to ponder which roles to list was singularly an enriching and enlightening experience. My internal conversation was fascinating to listen to.

“Hey Angie, list wife before mother, because you’ll be a better mother if your marriage is strong and happy.”

“Angie Archibald, you are NOT allowed to list “loyal drive-thru customer and friend” as a primary role. Bad girl.”

>>insert metaphoric slapping of my own wrists<<

“Yo, Ang, you really enjoy sharing your “stuff” with others. Your woodworking, your fancy-pants oils (more on that later), your green-ish thumb. It’s important that you make sure your weeks include time for that stuff. Make that a defined role, Ang.”

“Hey Angie, You didn’t list “exerciser” as a role. You have to exercise! Run! Curl-up!… But exercising isn’t a role, it’s a task that makes other roles possible and magnifies everything else. Without healthy habits, you’ll fail at so many of your goals! But it isn’t a role in and of itself.  Hmmm. Didn’t realize that until right now.”

After I listed my roles, I had to answer the question, “What kind of ________ do I want to be? (fill in the role)


I wrote a small paragraph for each role and when I was finished, I felt like I had just written my LIFE GOALS. I’ve never done that before, personally, completely, and without distraction. I really dove into that activity and my heart was racing by the time I got to the part where I am supposed to have dreams and define what they are. Whoa. I had so much clarity at that point as I honestly allowed myself to dream of a few things and realize, by looking up at my other roles, what my dreams might be made of. Freaky deaky.

Do you know how I managed to carve out the quiet, alone time needed to do this exercise? I did it after the kids went to bed. My husband was in bed too. And so was I. I said, “Hey, I’m gonna sit here and read a little bit of this Time Management E-book before I go to sleep, ok?” I don’t see how “Mr. ‘Angie, You’ve Got to Plan Better, My Love!'” can argue with that.

So he rolled over, put on a black-out eye mask that we bought him recently, and tried to sleep through my finger tapping on the iPad. I sorta felt bad for him. But then again, I was having a GLORIOUS MOMENT OF CLARITY and I couldn’t be stopped.

These life goals are very personal, but hey, this cool October air has me in the mood to snuggle. If you promise to take off your black-out eye mask, I’ll share some of them with you:

What kind of mother do I want to I want to be?

I want to be a strong, loving, fun and funny mom whom the kids feel drawn to in times of trial and also celebration. I want to be reliable and consistent in things that matter to them and will anchor their confidence and self-respect. I want to teach them responsibility, hard work, patience, how to communicate when stressed, how to self-correct, how to see the best in others, and most importantly- to look to the Savior for direction, approval, joy and peace.

What kind of blogger do I want to be?
I want to be an authentic and uplifting blogger and feel personally connected to my readers. My goal is to brighten their days, help them laugh (at me and at themselves), feel normal and loved, and to feel empowered to be creative homemakers. I want to be more consistent in my blog publishing and find a rhythm to that facet of my life, whilst disallowing the social media aspect of blogging to overtake my days and nights.

Pretty deep stuff, right? I’m not accustomed to taking myself seriously enough to answer these real questions. This whole exercise was awesome. You should A) grab that e-book. B) Read it. C) Do this too.

The next step in the book is to eat an elephant. ONE BITE AT A TIME. But that’s a post for tomorrow.

This has been the first post in our “Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms” series. I’ll be sharing my own journey as a Mediocre Mom on a mission with you all month. Come on back now, ya hear?

Tomorrow I’ll tell you how I was able to move from these newly defined roles toward actual tasks in my schedule. Again, grab the ebook and try it out. It’s amazing how defining my “self”,  my important roles, and my dreams has kept me focused and moving. See you tomorrow!

See post #2) Bite Size your Biggies 

See post #3) Do Different


31 Days: Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms

by Angie on September 27, 2013

life hacks for mediocre moms

“Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms”

That’s what I got. That’s what I need. That’s what’s for dinner.

That’s my “31 Days” Theme. In October I’ll be seeing you here every day and together we will make over my freaking life. (Or we’ll at least give it a mediocre try. Right?)

Life Hack for Mediocre Moms So Far:

#1) Roles, Goals, and Dreams 

#2) Bite Size Your Biggies

#3) Do Different

#4) Read Something Weird

#5) Exercise Yourself

#6) Zero Dark Early

#7) Manage Your Moods

#8) The Power of a Good Thing

#9) Church it Up

Guess what… I’m straight up the MOST mediocre mom of 4 kids you’ll ever meet (on the internet). Honest. I really am overwhelmingly mediocre. I’ve never striven to be or imagined myself as a Super Mom. The good news is that I don’t feel compelled to be that nearly-perfect person. I can’t imagine living with that expectation of myself.

However, I know I can do better. And I want to be better and accomplish more than I currently am. I want to clean up my messy life just enough that I can begin to tap into the potential I feel within me for… *more* (…staring into the foggy distance). Let’s not get too detailed here! I’ve gotta keep my dreams a secret in case I suck too much to reach them. :-/

So, whilst announcing the obvious: that I am VERY FAR from perfect, I’d like to state that I know I’m not a total train wreck either. Just so that you know I’m not fishing for compliments like a skinny chick calling herself fat. I do see my own strengths, I’m grateful for my blessings, and I try not to forget my little victories when I’m faced full-on with my weaknesses. And the weakness are plentiful.


I acknowledge that I’m flexible and spontaneous. I can throw together a fun playgroup activity, snack, and craft for 6 toddlers with an hour’s notice. Did that this week.


I sometimes buy the packs of pre-made cookie dough and just eat the whole thing within a few days. Then I wash it all down with Diet Coke. So, basically, I don’t feed myself very well.


I am really good at re-designing a space for very little money using what is already on hand/can be made from what’s lying around in my backyard and/or at the thrift store.
night stand
But alas:

Please don’t ask me when I last dusted because I will LIE!!!! (and then I will run downstairs and dust real quickly with my hand/sleeve, get distracted on phone, wash my dusty hands, and head for the cookie dough in the freezer.)


I really like people and love getting a group together. I’m comfortable in a crowd and have an ability to put people at ease. Give me a microphone and I’ll start rapping/jumping ala MC Hammer. It’s only natural.

>>Insert my 11 year-old yelling at full volume, “Stop it mom! You are NOT too legit to quit!!’ This may or may not have happened today outside her first middle school dance.<<

vanilla ice mc hammer ecard funny


If you belong to a pyramid scheme/ home-based sales company and would like to “stop by sometime this week and demonstrate some really amazing new knives” for me (or whatever) then I’d like to kick you in the face instead for making such a poor life choice.

Anyway… here’s the point. I’m doing ok, but I know I could do better. Overall.

I’m smart enough to know what I SHOULD be doing, I just don’t do it consistently. I’m a bit lazy, but really good at procrastinating. (This is a great start to my new, updated resume!)

>>Insert note to potential future employers: Stop reading this blog post and go wash out your eyeballs.<<

Admission: Sometimes I get really down about my lameness. It sounds like this, “I’m really failing at a lot of things! I really suck! I need to stop trying to do good things! I always fail! FAILURRRrrRRE!”

>>Insert head smack and ice cream.<<

My sweet husband? He doesn’t like it when I start yelling, “HASHTAG EPIC FAIL!” and usually responds with a gentle, “I know you can do it! You just need to plan a little better, babe!”

So in October, I am challenging myself to doing waaaay better. I’m gonna plan! I am going to DO my best to do the SHOULD things. I am going to turn the SHOULDS into CANS and WILLS. It’s like a infomercial/psycho-therapy/good-two-shoes experiment, for goodness sakes!

What will this look like? Um… I will exercise 5 days a week. I will wash my face every night. I will drink LESS Diet Coke. I will study my scriptures daily and pray on my knees to my heart’s content (#ImgoingtoneedHishelp). I will take my vitamins. I will face discouragement, battle through it, and forgive myself. I will say no to (most) cookies. I will say no to illegal drugs. I will say no to jeggings.

Just checking to see if you guys are still listening. Duh on those last two.

>>Insert Angie taking a break to laugh really hard.<<

I’m going to apply some really smart, sound “Life Hacks” to my Mediocre Mom Life in October and I’d like to invite you guys to join me. Or laugh at me. Or tell me how overzealous I am for doing this PAINFULLY GOOD thing to myself. Send love notes?

I’m hoping that this little “Life Improvement” experiment will be a HUGE blessing to me and my family. I’ll record how it goes each day so that we can hug about it if we need to. And I’ll definitely be asking for your help in my moments of weakness/cravings/laziness via Facebook and Instagram. Please steer me away from the chocolate chips every day at 1:00 p.m.

Confession: I’m sorta afraid to fail super hard at this, guys. Both the 31 straight days of blogging and the Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms. But let’s just go for it.

>>Insert cheerleading kicks and super happy clapping/belly rolls on un-mopped floors/possible nervous flatulence.<<

See you on TEN ONE, bruthas.
life hacks for mediocre moms 100

(linking this post up to The Nester’s 31 days party, m’kay?)


Cough. Cough. It’s Dead. Cough.

by Angie on September 25, 2013

If a blog author’s publishing schedule were a reflection of their LIFE schedule, y’all might think I’m up to no good around here. But, alas, I’m very busy and also very sick. Not dying. Just coughing up lungs and such. As soon as the kids got back in school, the viruses moved in and we’ve had essentially 3 straight weeks of illness at our house. My husband is the only one left unscathed and for that I am incredibly grateful. He is been amazing at putting up with all of us sickies and pulling double duty as Mr. Working Man all day and Mr. Nurse at night. I like that guy a lot.

Onto other news: my computer made a “POOF!/SPLAT!” sound 2 weeks ago and is now dead. It literally won’t even turn on. It will cost almost as much to fix it as it would to buy a new one. Ain’t that the way it goes?

Aaand… the videos I took for the back-to-school interviews I promised? They are locked inside the dead computer! Yay. Luckily we had all the documents and photos backing up daily to “the cloud”, but not the vids. Could have been worse, but still– no videos. Sure glad I took them and edited them. This is fun!

All that to say: I was really excited to get back to blogging when September came along. Hello? I see October on the horizon and what do I have to show for it?! Like, whatevs.

So for now I’m trying an experiment. It’s called: “Blogging like a Boss With just the iPad” (working title). That pretty much means that this post will be a mess and the pictures might be weird and unedited, but that we will all live and learn. Let us hold hands and pray together about it.


Have you guys heard about the 31 Day Series/Challenge in October? If you are a regular bloggy reader, then you have. The Nester hosted over 1200 bloggers last year in her link-up for the challenge. The idea is that as a blogger, you pick a theme, then post EVERY SINGLE DAY in October on that theme. Never missing a date. Never getting sick. Never killing computers. Never dying.

I’ve wanted to join this challenge for the last 3 years. In fact, one year I had decided that my theme would be, “31 DAYS OF ACTUALLY BLOGGING.” Seemed pretty general and easy to accomplish. Yet, NOT AT ALL, since I am sure that a 31 Day challenge would be the hardest thing I ever did. I’ve never joined the challenge because I am REALLY GOOD at being mediocre and I avoid hard things.


See? I’m even mediocre and avoiding hard things!!

UNTIL NOW! I’m joining for October!! ha. ha. ha.

I don’t feel/sound very confident in myself, I know. But I love a good challenge to kick me out of bed in the morning. Let’s pretend that this is going to be a raging success, m’kay?!

But first I have to take myself to the doctor because… hack, hack, hack– here come’s another lung. I’m still sick. This has gone on long enough.

I’ll be back in a couple (days?) to announce my 31 Days Theme! I’ve got a list of 15 theme ideas shoved into my back pocket. If you have any suggestions for me, this would be the time to sent them my way. What would you like to here about for 31 days straight in October? Also, do you remember who I am?

*Hugs n’ Stuff*

Angie Pangie Poo-Poo


Wherein You Catch the Real Us on Camera

by Angie on September 5, 2013

back to school interviews

Hi! I’m baacck! Charlie is in preschool 2 days a week now, so I’m able to devote more time to blogging and I’M SO EXCITED!

Instead of going back and reviewing all the lazy mayhem that was my summer, I’m gonna plop us all directly into the Archibald Family Back-to-School Craziness. You ready?

I tried to sit down with my kids on Labor Day to interview them about the new school year. My purpose was to have them play an active role in my plans for their morning routines and lunch-packing plans. I thought I’d record the interviews and capture some memories.


This about sums up what I got from that idea: (turn down your volume if you wee little baby is asleep/you are at work)

After settling ourselves down (it was tough!), we did get some interviews done. They are cute. I’m working on editing them down, so I’ll see you soon!

P.S. It’s been so long since I actively blogged, that I would love for you guys to tell me what to write. I mean, I have a long list of ideas all fighting for their stage, but I wonder what you are up to and what you are dying to read. Talk to mommy.


charlie and mom 1


This is the post that needs to be written for 2 big reasons.

A) I can’t stand seeing the images from the previous post on the homepage when I click through. What was I thinking doing a vlog without make-up? Then taking a screen shot of me making a horribly awkward face. I was trying to help you guys feel pretty. Did it work?

B) I need to tell you what I’ve been up to– as in, why I haven’t been blogging.

mom and charlie 2

I thoroughly enjoy blogging. I love writing to you guys and sharing what projects we’ve been up to here. I love your comments and interacting with you on the blog and it’s extraneous social media pods. But guess what I’ve discovered? I really don’t love sitting at the computer for extended periods of time. Especially since that computer time usually requires me to push off my kids to the TV, iPad, phones, whatever instead of me being engaged with them

So why don’t I just blog after they go to bed?? Because those hours are the only time I have in the day to talk to my husband. Or listen to my husband. Or just sit next to him and watch an old episode of Blue Bloods. Or other stuff. Or sleep.

And if I stay up super late writing posts and editing pictures, then I can’t get up early to run and then I get fat. That’s the gospel truth.

after cleanse in dress 1

Weight gain comes very easily for me. Weight gain makes me depressed. Staying up too late = not enough sleep = no running = weight gain. That’s all part of my non-blogging equation. It’s life.

So why don’t I arrange play dates for the kids and work on the blog while they are happily playing? Or hire someone to watch them a bit? Because then the blog becomes like a job and I never set out to turn my blog into a business. I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. That’s what I’m doing now.

I get tempted! Oh boy, it can be tempting to use my blog as a money-making hobby/adventure. I can see other bloggers doing an excellent job of creating income doing what they love. I am inspired by their hard work. But as soon as I have sponsors and brands relying on my posts, then the blog becomes burdensome and I feel chained to my computer.

My husband does well enough financially for us that I don’t need to generate income. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice for me to bring in money for more projects, fun, vacations, etc. I like the idea of making the big bucks. Or the small bucks. But sometimes I feel like I’d rather build some tables and sell them on Craigslist (aka get sawdust in my hair and work outside while the kids run through the sprinkler) than burn the midnight oil at the computer in order to make those bucks.

If I wanted to/had to work, guess what the PERFECT job for me would be. Guess!… I’d be a Humorous DIY Home Blogger. I’d blog RIGHT HERE. Non-stop. And it would be awesome. I know it! I’d make it work with the kids and we’d all be happy. It would be a different life and it would be doable and I would really enjoy that work. ((:: giving myself a high-five to the face! ::)) But I’m not ready for that right now.

mom and charlie 3

I am putting a place-holder on my blog right now. I’m sitting on it. I’m going to come back to it. I’m gonna try REAL hard to not regret leaving it stagnant for a little while.

It comes down to priorities. I want to be a mom that my kids can talk to. I want us to have good memories of fun adventures and silly times. I’m not an amazingly creative or adventure-planning mom. I am easily distracted (reading YOUR blogs on my phone) and we spend a lot of time just chillin’. But I don’t want to choose to complicate these years with the kids (especially since Charlie is just 3 and will be home with me for 2 more years before kindergarten) and look back and regret not being engaged with them.

When I am actively blogging (3 posts a week), I put in about 20 hours of work per week. It’s not much. But most of that is spent at the computer. And here we are back at square one. I don’t want to sit and type. I’ll keep building things, painting like a maniac, and I’m still “Angie in the Thick of It” in real life. I’m just not going to be publicizing my antics on the blog for a little while. This isn’t a forever thing. In fact, in the fall when Charlie heads off to preschool a couple days a week, I’d like to think that I’ll dip my toes back into the blog.

Will you follow me on Instagram while I’m away? I love Instagram. I can’t quit that!
Me = @angieinthethickofit

instagram screen shot

In related business, I’ve decided not to attend the Haven Conference in August. I have a ticket that I need to sell! If you want it, tell me now! You’ll have an AMAZING time there , I know it!

Love-n-Hugs, Sawdust-n-blackened-thumbnails, potty-breaks-and-giggle-fests in full force-



sam graduation

P.P.S. I miss you already. :-)

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