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19 Tips to Embrace the New Day when You’re not a Morning Person

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Embrace the New Day When You're Not a Morning Person


It’s a new day and you want to make the most of it.  For some people (including me), morning is the hardest time of day because I’m not naturally a morning person.  Are you a night owl too?  Never fear!  You can still have a wonderful morning by following my 19 tips to embrace the new day when you’re not a morning person.

Plus,  I know one thing that will improve your mornings:  winning the Carefree® Freshness Challenge daily prize of a $100 gift card for a new coffee maker!  Keep reading to find out how to win a new coffee maker and a new $5,000 wardrobe from Carefree®. HEA Sponsored Post Top Graphic

19 Tips to Embrace the New Day and Have a Great Morning

1.  Wake up in a good mood.  This sounds easy enough, but there are a lot of factors that go into waking up happy.  Tips 2,3 and 4 below are a few that contribute to waking up chipper and ready to embrace the day!

2.  Get enough sleep by going to bed on time.  Adults still need 8-10 hours of sleep, and finding your optimal snooze time will depend on your activity level during the day.

3.  Don’t sleep on an argument.  If you’re grumpy with your kids or arguing with your spouse, apologize and work it out before you go to sleep so you can let go of the stress of unresolved issues.

I tell my kids that going to bed with madness in their hearts will make it turn into black licorice!  So that’s not literally true, but the principle is.  Holding stress inside will manifest itself in your body and your life.  Make amends before you drift off to dream land.

Pillows Circle Watermark4.  Sleep on a comfy pillow.  Too fluffy or too flat can cause you to wake up with a sore neck. Make sure your pillow thickness and firmness is just right.

5.  Wake up energized.  Set your alarm to play a high-energy dance song that makes you hop out of bed and want to get your groove on!

I used to wake up every morning to “Get Right” by Jennifer Lopez because the beat of the song made me jump out of the covers and shake it all the way to the bathroom.  I opened my eyes every morning with an energetic outlook on the day.  Find a song that inspires that “move-it” attitude for you.

6.  Leave enough time to get ready without rushing.  An extra 15 minutes can make all the difference between a busy morning when you’re always behind and a nice morning when you don’t have to constantly watch the clock.  How can you make sure you have enough time in the morning?  By using tip 7, of course!

7.  Do your prep work the night before.  The night before can be your secret weapon to a stress-free morning.  Pack lunches, sign permission slips, pick out your outfit (including shoes, socks, bra, panties, and jewelry), pack your purse or work bag, even write down your appointments, meetings, and to do list in your planner.

The more you can do the night before to avoid running out of time in the morning, the better.

8.  Always get dressed, even if you’re not leaving the house.  This tip is key to embracing the new day!  Even if I’m working from home, I still put on a complete work outfit (even accessories) to put me in a productive mindset.  If my reflection looks like my work self, then my mind thinks like my work self.  Which leads up to tip 9…

9.  Always do your hair and makeup.  Even if you’re short on time, you can quickly comb your hair into a high ponytail or put on a pretty headband to hold your hair back.  There are also plenty of double-duty beauty products like BB creams that cut your skin care and makeup time in half.  Don’t pass on at least a foundation with sunscreen, mascara and lip gloss to have you looking put together and feeling confident.

10.  Make your top 5 list.  My holy grail secret of productivity is my top 5 list.  Every morning I make a list of the 5 most important things I want to accomplish that day.  It helps keep my mind focused on my priorities so that I don’t get distracted by things that come up throughout the day.

Plus, making a top 5 list can have you looking forward to the morning as a way to jump in and get those intentional goals knocked out and crossed off!

If You’re SO Tired You Can Barely Wake Up

11.  Keep your contact solution or eye drops in the refrigerator.  A chilly drop in the eye is refreshing and will get you alert in a snap.

12.  Splash your face with cold water.  Or, if you’re desperate…

13.  Jump in a cold shower.  A few seconds under the icy water will jolt you awake!

14.  Step outside and run one lap around your house.  From front door to back door and back to the front, a quick change of temperature, speed and environment will wake you up right away.  The fresh air will feel great and you’ll be energized to get your morning started.

15.  Hide the puffy under-eyes.  Wear de-puffing eye patches under your eyes on your commute to work or while you make breakfast.

16.  Camouflage the tired eyes with white liner.  Use a white eyeliner to line your lower lashes to give you the illusion of being well-rested.

What to Do When You Wake Up in a Bad Mood

17.  Take a selfie of you hugging your child or kissing your spouse and set it as your lock screen.  This way, every time you look at your cell phone, you’ll see something that makes you feel happy.  What an easy way to boost out of a bad mood!

Danelle with Coffee18.  Give yourself an extra treat, like a special coffee.  When I’m exhausted and have to get up super early, I make a stop by the Starbucks drive-thru for a grande caramel mocha.  Since this is a treat for me, it instantly lifts my bad mood.

19.  Press play on your favorite funny movie or TV show while you get ready.  Laughing can zap your grumpiness and lift your spirits quickly.

Set your phone or tablet to stream one of your go-to laugh inducers (for me it’s The Big Bang Theory) and set it on the counter while you put on makeup, brush your teeth, or make breakfast.

The 30 Day Carefree® Freshness Challenge

Carefree® is helping us all develop healthy habits with the Carefree® Freshness Challenge.  They want you to feel confident and ready to take on the world, which is why they make the amazing line of Carefree® Acti-Fresh panty liners to keep you protected and fresh while you’re on the go.

Commit to the Carefree® Freshness Challenge and get 30 days of tips on how to keep all areas of your life fresh.

Remember that nice new coffee maker we were talking about earlier to help you embrace the new day?  Enter to win a $100 gift card for a new coffee maker from Carefree®.  On top of the daily prizes, 1 grand prize winner will receive $5,000 for a fresh new wardrobe!

Here’s how to enter:

Here are the #CarefreeChallenge  official rules.  Good luck!Carefree Challenge

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post written by Danelle Ice for Carefree®.  Danelle was compensated for writing this post, but her opinions are her own.  The Carefree® Challenge contest and giveaway is being held and administered by Carefree®.  See their site for official rules.

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$3 Disney Clothes for Back to School & Schoola Coupon Code!

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My Schoola Back to School Clothes

$3 Disney clothes for back to school?  It’s true!  I scored the cheapest of cheap amazing brand name school clothes for my kids at Schoola.  Today, I have a Schoola coupon code for you to use, which is perfect because it’s time to buy back to school clothes for your returning students!  Keep reading to see the Schoola coupon code below.

My princesses love Disney characters, but I’m not about to pay full price for Disney clothes.  Instead, I bought my kids’ school clothes at Schoola this year and my order just came in (see the box below).  Let’s jump in and I’ll show you everything I got!

A quick note: This is a sponsored post, which means Schoola is compensating me to help get the word out about their amazing store and service. My opinions are honest, as always, and I don’t share causes if they’re not worthy.

Schoola Box

What is Schoola?

A few weeks ago, we were talking about Schoola and how they raise money for schools’ arts programs by selling used kids’ clothing.  If you missed my post about how to donate used clothes to Schoola, go read it and use your kids’ outgrown clothes for a good cause:  helping Yick Wo Elementary School raise funds for their art program! 

Their goal is to raise $25,000 and I hope you’ll help us get their program funded.  For every one of you that requests a free donation bag, Schoola will give $1 to Yick Wo. 

Click here to get your FREE donation bag!

Plus, if you decide to buy deeply discounted kids’ clothes from Schoola, they will give $2 out of every $5 you spend back to the school YOU choose.  This could be your child’s school, a school in your town, or any other school you choose by putting in the zip code.

Click here to buy cheap kids’ clothes at Schoola!

My School Clothes from Schoola:  2 Girls and a Boy

In my last post, I said if you like something on Schoola, you’d better get it quickly before someone else buys it.  You’re helping schools and helping your family budget at the same time.  But since everyone else knows about Schoola too, the items you’re looking at will disappear FAST.

I was back to school shopping for my son and 2 daughters this year.  My girls love Disney princesses, dresses, glitter and sequins.  You know, the extra fancy stuff that retails for $12 to $20 per item.  With three growing kids, it’s not in my budget to spend that much on kids’ clothes, but I still want to get high quality cute outfits.

Enter Schoola.  Their kids’ clothes are priced so low, you couldn’t even find great clothing at a thrift store for these prices.

Their clothes are used but they only sell brand name items in fantastic shape.  A few of the items I purchased had defects noted (e.g. fading on polka dots, knee wear) but when I received my clothing, I noticed no defects at all!

When I opened my Schoola box, this is what I found inside:

Schoola Wrapped Clothes in Box

Of course I’m a sucker for cute things, and Schoola’s wrapping was to die for.  Each bundle of clothing was wrapped neatly in yellow tissue paper and sealed with a pretty Schoola sticker. 

There was an invoice in the box which had the name, picture, and price of each item I ordered so I could match it up with what came in my box.  It also had a total at the bottom, which told me how much of my order went to schools:  40%.  That made me feel great, because I needed to buy school clothes anyway.  Saving money was exhilarating, but my purchase was also giving money to schools for art, music and PE programs.  What a bonus!Schoola Boys Jeans

Now, let’s talk about what was in the box.  My son, Truett, needed pants for school, but I hate paying $13-$20 for boys’ jeans at the store.  The photo above shows his new pants from Schoola hanging in his closet.

I found name brand jeans (Levis and Old Navy) for only $5.70 and $5.85.  If you’re following along, you’re right that I paid less for 2 pairs of awesome jeans that I would have for 1 pair of brand new no-name jeans at Walmart.

Click here to buy cheap kids’ clothes at Schoola!

I also got him a cool pair of black cargo pants for $4.20 and a Disney Cars hoodie sweatshirt for only $3.99.  Let me re-stress that all the boys’ clothes looked like they were brand new!

Moving on to the girls’ clothes, here is everything I got them from Schoola laid out on Seven’s princess bed:

Back to Schoola for Girls

I got the girls 3 shirts, 2 dresses, 1 pair of pants, and 1 fall jacket.  My favorite scores were the Disney items, of course!  The retail price on the red Minnie Mouse dress is $16.  Schoola’s price for the dress was only $6.43, which is amazingly low, especially because of the gold sequin detailing on Minnie’s bow and belt:  Minnie Mouse Dress

Also, the Disney Beauty and the Beast red shirt featuring Belle sells at the Disney Store for $12.95.  I bought it at Schoola for only $3.20!  I could buy my daughters 4 Disney shirts at Schoola for the price of 1 retail.  There is a category on Schoola just for Disney clothes if that’s all you want to look at.  Red Outfit Belle Beauty and the Beast

Pairing the red Belle shirt with a cute pair of red polka dot pants ($2.99 from Schoola), I was able to make a whole back to school outfit which is cute and stylish for my little frugal fashionistas for just over $6!  A whole outfit for $6 – you can’t even do that at a thrift store.

This pink fall medium-weight hoodie jacket looks brand new and only cost $2.99.  The quality is really nice; check out the soft plaid flannel in the photo below:

Pink Plaid Jacket

The most expensive item I purchased in this back to school haul was the pink crushed velvet princess dress (shown in the group picture above) at $7.20.  That’s a fraction of the cost of a special occasion dress at any other store, plus it’s in brand new condition for my little princess.

I averaged all of the back to school clothes (because I love math and savings!) and discovered that my 11 items averaged out to $4.54 per piece.  For name brands in like-new condition, I couldn’t be happier with my frugal deals.  Plus, 40% of that went back to schools for their arts fundraising. 

Shop Schoola for Back to School with this Schoola Coupon Code!

I promised you that I’d give you a coupon code to use at Schoola for your own back to school shopping, and I always come through!  This Schoola coupon code will get you 20% off your entire order, but it expires August 20, 2014, so DON’T WAIT!   Here’s how to get this dazzling Schoola promo code:

  →  First, click this link to go to Schoola and pick out amazing cheap clothes for your boys and girls (from 1 year old baby sizes all the way up to high school sizes).

  →  At checkout, enter this Schoola coupon code:  BacktoSchoola20.

Thank you so much for helping me raise money for Yick Wo school by shopping at Schoola for quality kids’ clothes.  Remember, they need your donations of fabulous used kids’ clothes too.  

Get your free donation bag and pack up your sons’ and daughters’ too-small clothes from last school year.  Other parents will love being able to shop through the wonderful items you don’t need anymore to help their family while supporting schools.

I’d love to know about your back to school scores at Schoola! Let me know your brilliant clothing deals in the comments below or post pictures of your Schoola purchases on the Home Ever After facebook page so we can all see them! Remember to use the hashtag #clothes4schools in your posts, and check out Schoola’s facebook page while you’re there. 

Here are my frugal fashionistas, Prynne and Seven.  Post your kids’ fab back to school outfits on our facebook page too.

Back to School Fashionista PrynneBack to School Frugal Fashionista

Happy back to school shopping, moms and dads!

FTC Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Schoola and contains Danelle Ice’s honest opinions.  Danelle was compensated to promote Schoola and was also given merchandise credit to facilitate making a purchase on the Schoola website.

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Free Simple Truth Peanut Butter from Ralphs {Coupon}

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Freebies Column Header-HEA

Ralphs grocery stores are offering a free jar of Simple Truth peanut butter, so go grab yours now!  This is not a sample and you don’t have to buy anything – it is a free full size product.

You can get a free jar of Simple Truth peanut butter from Ralphs by clicking the link below, then liking their page.  On the Ralphs Exclusive Coupons tab, the first one will be the free peanut butter coupon.  Click it to load the digital coupon to your Ralphs rewards card.

Click here to get your free Simple Truth peanut butter from Ralphs.

Click here for all current freebies!

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Win a New Car From Albertsons {Giveaway}

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Albertsons is giving away a new car this summer in their giveaway, The Best Road Trip Ever!   Click here to enter to win a new car giveaway.  All of us would like to win a new car, and spinning the wheel could do the trick for you. 

  Enter to win a new car from Albertsons.

Hurry on this sweepstakes, because you can enter the contest as many times as you want between now and September 3, 2014.  See Albertsons’ giveaway page for official rules.

Disclaimer:  This giveaway is not hosted or administered by Home Ever After.  This post contains affiliate links and readers may assume that receives compensation when my referral links are used.

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Free Schoola Kids’ Clothes Donation Bag to Support Art Classes! {Back to School}

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imageRaise your hand if you’ve been decluttering, organizing, or shopping for back to school clothes already?  All parents are in various states of back to school frenzy right now, and I’ve got something exciting that’s going to make your life easier.

Schoola is a site that takes donations of used kids’ clothes and sells them at deep discounts to earn money for schools’ art and music programs.  That means you can clear out your child’s outgrown clothes and buy cheap school clothes for this year in a snap!

  Click here to get your FREE donation bag!

Back to school is one of our favorite times of year at Home Ever After.  Right now, I’m working with Yick Wo Elementary in San Francisco to earn money for their art program.  When you request a donation bag from my  link above, Schoola will donate $1 to Yick Wo and $2 out of every $5 will go to YOUR school of choice!

A quick note:  This is a sponsored post, which means Schoola is compensating me to help get the word out about their amazing store and service.  My opinions are honest, as always, and I don’t share causes if they’re not worthy.

How to Donate Used Kids’ Clothes to Schoola


I know you want to declutter and send your kids’ outgrown clothes to Schoola! You’ll be helping other frugal parents get great affordable school clothes for their kids and helping Schoola give money to schools to fund their arts programs. Here are the easy steps to get you donating clothes to Schoola this BTS season.

  Step 1: Click this link.

  Step 2: On the Schoola page, click the “Donate to Help” button.

  Step 3: On the Request a Bag page, fill in your mailing address (so they can send you the donation bag) and a zip code for a school in your town you want to earn money from your clothes.

  Step 4: Click the “Get a Bag!” button. That’s it!

Schoola will mail you a donation bag the next day to fill up with your used children’s clothes. Mail it back to Schoola (the shipping is already paid) and 40% of the sales of your donated clothes to the school you chose. How Schoola Works

What?  No Music Class?

As a professional writer, creative arts programs in K through 12 schools are very important to me.  I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska and the public schools there still offer art, gym and music classes as a regular part of students’ education.

When I moved to California, I was shocked to find out that students don’t have music class as a regular part of the week.  My son’s last 2 schools didn’t have art class or gym class either.  The schools didn’t even have gymnasiums!

I’m a singer.  I’m a screenwriter.  I’m a graphic designer.  Being a creative artist is not only in my soul, it’s an integral part of my profession as well.  I found my love and passion for these creative outlets WAY back in elementary school.

I remember my music classes and art classes from elementary school vividly, even though they were decades ago.  From the minute music class ended on Tuesday, I looked forward to my next  class on Thursday.  In retrospect, I cannot imagine what school would have been like with no specials (art, music, gym).

The video below shows how requesting a free donation bag to send in your kids’ used clothes can help Yick Wo Elementary school get their art class funded:

Click here to get your FREE donation bag!


Make sure you head over to Schoola to do your BTS clothes shopping too.  The prices are amazingly low, so don’t wait to shop the deals.  I spotted a red Disney Belle from Beauty and the Beast shirt this morning on Schoola.  The retail price was $16.99, but the Schoola price was just $3.80.  By the time I went back to complete my purchase, the shirt was already sold!  Don’t wait – shop Schoola now and avoid the back to school store crowds.
What are your best memories of art and music from school? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.  What questions do you have about Schoola and how it works?
FTC Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Schoola and contains Danelle Ice’s honest opinions.

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