Isaac and Isabel – #ParentingLevelUp

Automating Daily Life During the Work Week

A guest post by Isaac and Isabel CEO, Sarah Ballard:

Before sharing the guest blog post that Sarah wrote exclusively for the ThriveMomma community, I wanted to share a little bit about her Company, Isaac and Isabel which has JUST launched.  If you’ve been a part of the Thrive community for more than about 60 seconds, you know that I am ALL about automating as much of the boring parts of life as possible (see post HERE and HERE).

For starters, Isaac and Isabel is the first company that I’ve seen that automates both shopping for children’s clothes AND clearing the closet once said clothes don’t fit anymore (which, let’s face it, happens far to quickly and about every 3 months).  Isaac & Isabel is a socially conscious children’s clothing subscription box service.  The Company eliminates the hassle of buying new clothes every three months as sizes and seasons change.  THE BEST PART –> Then it donates your outgrown clothes to families in need!  I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!  First, I’m forced to “spring clean” each quarter and second, I get to help children in need.

Check out the I&I website here.

Follow I&I on Insta here.

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Not long ago, I got promoted, and the organization’s leadership held a one day seminar to congratulate the new “class” of proven managers.  When they sent the wrap up email, two-thirds of it was devoted to mindfulness and stress relief techniques.

Um…thanks for acknowledging how hard this gig is and then doing the least humanly possible thing to improve it.

Ambitious two-career households with children understand the grind of the work week.  

Long work hours, rigid child care and school schedules, and punishing commutes leave families spent when they make it home to face the unpacking, repacking, cooking, and cleaning of the evening.  There are days when a young parent can’t bear the thought of cleaning another bottle or pleading with the toddler to eat his blessed dinner in under 90 minutes.

Bedtime comes too quickly—long before the work is done and we have properly unwound—and our alarms jolt us awake to the prospect of doing it all over again a few short hours later.

And we wonder, is everyone like us this bone tired?

Do they all do something we don’t?

Why does no one talk about this?

The short answer is, yes, everyone is in the same boat, and everyone grins and bears it while they try to make it all work.  

Kinda like duct-taping the plane together while flying it.

But there ARE ways to make it less of a circus where you’re hoping not to get stomped on by the elephant, eaten by the lion, or run over by a herd of monkeys (your kids).

Quick brainstorm – what about the work day do you hate?

Here’s a combined list from my husband and I:

  • Trying to pick an outfit and then not make a sweaty or sticky mess of it wrangling the kids
  • Wrestling the kids into clothes
  • Commuting
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Grocery shopping
  • Begging my son to eat dinner
  • Repacking my infant daughter’s lunch box with her bottles

Then there’s the stuff that invariably gets pushed to the weekend, quickly making Saturday and Sunday feel like work days required to keep the house running.  This can be the weekly chores like yard work, home repairs/improvement, clothes shopping, decluttering/donating outgrown items, charitable endeavors, administrative tasks (taxes, bills, etc), and on and on…

So, rank order your list of things you just don’t want to spend your time on, and find outsourcing solutions.  Keep working down your list until your budget throws a yellow flag. Then, look at the remaining items and see if there aren’t a few things you could tackle at little or no cost.

Some things are deceptive money savers or net zeros.  Take grocery delivery. Yes, you pay roughly 10-15% more with delivery and tip.  BUT – there are FAR fewer impulse buys, and because it forces you to think through meals and what you need for the week, far less waste.  Oh, and way easier to eat healthy because the junk never makes it in the front door.

Here’s how we are handling it:

 

Chore Solution
House cleaning Maid – found after posting on NextDoor
Lawn maintenance Lawn service- word of mouth in neighborhood
Grocery shopping Peapod delivery
Other shopping Amazon Prime and subscriptions
Clothes shopping Subscription box for kids, 2-3 online retailers the parents stick with religiously
Commuting Audio book subscription (might as well learn something!)  

Frugal Mom Hack:  Join your local library, download the Libby app and rent audio books for MAJOR savings!

Toddler dinner Subscription to kid-centric meals – gets him excited about meals delivered by his “Super Chefs”

Try Yumble!  (Pricing as low as $5.24 a meal — BANANAS!)

Cooking dinner Subscription for the adults – Bonus – has cut dish duty down by over two-thirds

Tried a bunch — Keep coming back to HelloFresh!

Selecting outfits Laying everything out for the week on Sunday
Avoiding sticky morning messes Commute in sweats, husband in undershirt.  Hit gym first.
Donating to charity Sponsoring a child through a reputable organization like SmileTrain with an auto-give on the credit card, picking companies for your other purchases with charitable angles, scheduling quarterly Salvation Army pickups and putting reminders in your family calendar

 

We designed Isaac & Isabel, Inc. to support working families.  Our quarterly subscription boxes of clothing basics (newborn – 5T) keep families stocked with what they need when they need it.  Plus, we include a shipping label and encourage parents to re-pack their box with outgrown items to ship back so our partner charities can donate them to local families in need.  Customers get to keep their closets clean while giving to a great cause, supporting the environment, and never leaving the house! One purchase, set, and forget.

We wish you all the best streamlining your daily routines!

#parentinglevelup

I hope you enjoyed this guest post!  Here are the links to Isaac and Isabel’s website and social pages again:

Website here.

 Insta here.

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22 Comments

  1. Scott J DeNicola March 29, 2019 at 11:20 am

    This is a great list of tips for automating life. There are so many delivery options available these days its become easier and easier to have items dropped off to you. We’ve begun using Instacart and Postmates as well for deliveries of food etc. I love the concept os, Issac and Isabel.

    Reply
    1. Rachael Marini March 29, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Agreed! Instacart was a life saver for us when our first was born! We got into a great grocery routine!

      Reply
    2. Sarah March 30, 2019 at 7:38 am

      Scott,
      Glad you like I&I’s concept! We’re just getting off the ground, so we wouldn’t say no to a Share on Facebook!
      Have a great weekend!
      Sarah
      CEO/Mom to Isaac & Isabel

      Reply
  2. Tracy @ Cleland Clan March 29, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Delivery options have certainly changed since I became a mom 28 years ago. I love Walmart pick up–it’s so easy when I have the grandkids with me. My favorite automation tips are laying all the week’s clothes and packing lunches for all week on Sunday.

    Reply
  3. Lene Andersen March 29, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t have kids, but looking through that list of automated tasks made me feel all peaceful. 🙂 I think I need to take a look at automating a few things myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  4. Sharon Wu March 29, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    no kids for me, but i got 2 dogs! haha i think that anyone could agree that automated tasks makes our lives easier and gives us more time to do other things that are more important. i will definitely have to look into different ways i can automate my life more to be more efficient! thanks for inspiring us!

    Reply
  5. Trish Veltman March 29, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    I love the concept of Isaac & Isabel – such a great way to help families organise and manage children’s clothing needs, and pass them on to others when outgrown.

    Reply
    1. Sarah March 30, 2019 at 7:40 am

      Hi Trish!
      We’re about to announce our first partner charities, and we’re super excited about who we’ve got lined up! Follow us on FB or Insta, and please share us with any young families in your life that you think would benefit!
      All the best,
      Sarah

      Reply
  6. Subhashish Roy March 29, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    I completely go with your suggestion of listing activities out & automate as many as feasible within our budget. Else it is difficult to find happiness in what we do if we are always pressurized.

    Reply
  7. Snehal March 30, 2019 at 12:51 am

    This is a pretty sweet and useful concept. I agree that all parents must try out. Automating children clothing will save a lot of time. 😊

    Reply
    1. Sarah March 30, 2019 at 7:44 am

      Hi Snehal!
      Glad you think the concept of Isaac & Isabel would help out young families. Please share our company and mission with the young families in your life!
      Thanks!
      Sarah

      Reply
  8. Vincent Monaco March 30, 2019 at 5:16 am

    This is a great list of options to make life with small children easier. The library one for books is great.

    Reply
  9. Megan Kerry March 30, 2019 at 5:56 am

    I definitely believe automation and routine are the keys to productivity! This was a great post full of awesome tips! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  10. Mary Lentz March 30, 2019 at 10:30 am

    I’m embarrassed to say how much I use Amazon prime! LOL. I’ve come to rely on it so much, I love the diaper and wipes subscription service. It makes life really easy with little ones.

    Reply
    1. Rachael Marini March 30, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Same! If I added up how much I spend on Prime I’d be horrified (so best not go down that road)

      Reply
      1. Sarah March 30, 2019 at 3:20 pm

        Pretty sure that’s why they don’t show you the monthly total on the “Manage my subscriptions” page.

        Reply
  11. Candace March 31, 2019 at 3:31 am

    I need to check them out. I hate the process of buying new clothes for my son because I always end up overspending.

    Reply
    1. Rachael Marini March 31, 2019 at 3:45 am

      This is great because you know exactly what you need to budget for clothes each 3m period! Takes the guess work out of it completely

      Reply
  12. Julie April 9, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    I love this. Automate all the things!!!!

    Reply
  13. Trish ~ Habibi House April 11, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    I love all these tips. We also love Instacart for grocery deliveries but have not had meals delivered. I really am jealous of the house cleaner.

    Reply
    1. Rachael Marini April 11, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      We have a house cleaner come once a month and, as a mom of 2 little ones, it’s by little way to spoil myself! I’d choose that over pedicures, manicures, hair appts, etc!

      Reply

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