I need help! And here are cheap ways I find it

There’s a pride in doing something on your own. No one will argue that. And if you follow this blog, you know I’m an extreme DIY-er. But the less endearing term for that condition is “control freak.”

No organic arugula at Costco? No problem, I’ll grow it.

That beaded chandelier is $1,500?!?! I just ordered beads off of Amazon and I’m googling how to weld.

Cleaning service? If I can’t wipe down my own counter tops, I have bigger problems in life.

Ok … now let me take off the cape and get down to reality.

I can’t do all of this myself. 

Whhhewww that was hard.

My home should never be swabbed for deadly germs or else we would move out. I have a spider hanging in the foyer that died a few months ago. I’m too short to reach it and I’m just hoping Pottery Barn comes out with a line of “French Country dried insects” that retails for $40 and I look trendy. That chandelier I was going to make? The beads are sitting in my guest room collecting dust for the last 11 months. Oh, and I need to hire a welder.

“Why don’t we get a cleaning service?” my husband asks.

“Because I spent two hours cleaning today,” I tell him as I gesture to the spilled milk, crumbs and pile of naked Barbies on the floor, “and if I paid someone a hundred bucks and the house is already dirty again, I’d go insane.”

But he has a point. We need help.

Who doesn’t? Whether you’re working full-time, part-time, have 5 kids or 1 dog, life gets busy and before you know it you have a 6 month old dead spider. But not everyone can or wants to hire on an employee.

There’s only so much time and money to go around, right? So how can we spend those resources best? I asked some friends and compiled some advice on unusual ways to get at least a little extra assistance.


You know those conversations with friends when you admit that you’re not “doing it all”? Out of that honesty comes pure strokes of genius.

“Oh, I’ve paid a high school girl down the street to come over and just fold laundry,” my friend admitted to me over wine.

Why haven’t I thought of this?!? We hire high school kids for babysitting, mowing the lawn and other obvious tasks. Why wouldn’t they want to earn a buck by doing some of the other chores?

I did some research on “Mommy’s Helpers” to make sure we wouldn’t be totally off base if we asked a teen to fold laundry. BUT considering the list, that would be a TOTALLY normal thing to ask.  Here are some of the other acceptable chores expected of mommy’s helpers:

  • help with carpool duties and childcare
  • help meal prep
  • help organize closets
  • help decorate for parties
  • help write thank you notes

These were actually in this article detailing chores and schedules!

They get $20, I get an hour of my life back? Win-win


Am I alone here, or does everyone else start stressing about dinner around 10 o’clock in the morning?

What are we going to have? Did I defrost something? Do I need to run to the store on the way home? Is the drive-thru parentally or ethically wrong?

There are nights I give the Food Network a run for its money. I use every pot, pan, serving dish and spice in my kitchen. And then for the next two nights, I scrape freezer burn off the Costco pre-made, throw in the oven and pray type of meal.

But what if we took the “village” mentality and applied it to our meals?

Two friends of mine (who live across the street from one another) have a deal where they trade off nights to cook. One person would cook a meal big enough for 2 families one night and walk it over, the next night was the other’s turn.

It’s definitely a commitment, but it’s also a way to get out of the same old cooking ruts (in my house, it’s chicken/broccoli/sweet potatoes) and try new recipes. Also, it gives you a night “off” but a home cooked meal.

This light bulb also went off for Tonya Kinlow. I met her at an entrepreneurial summit where she was a featured speaker. She developed a smartphone app called U Gotta Eat. The point of the app is to share leftovers or meal share with friends. She even created a section where professional cooks can upload meals and you can pay for a professionally cooked dinner.

Her goal is to not only unload that burden, but keep it organized for you and your friends to make “reservations” with each other and also reduce food waste. Think about when you throw a party — how many mini sandwiches or sheet cake can you eat?? (Well, if you’re me, you can eat half a Costco cake but then think of the sugar guilt).

She sent me this video to explain more…



I’m sure there’s a grocery store you go to that offers grocery delivery service. But do you hand over control to a stranger to pick out your produce?? It can be intimidating.

In my work life, I get a chance to see first hand how these trends work. I did a “behind the scenes” interview with one of the Instacart workers. That’s the company that does grocery service for a Cleveland based grocery store, Heinen’s, but also Amazon/Whole Foods.

This guy was on a mission.

When I met the Instacart worker, Kyle, who is sort of like Uber, but for your groceries. He lists himself “on duty” on the app, gets your grocery list, and then gets incentives from the company to deliver fast and with accuracy to your order.

And just a word of warning, if you order produce, most of the apps will have you enter the weight. So, Kyle was measuring out the weight of bananas ordered. He double checks brands and makes sure it’s the exact item you ordered.

On a busy week, it might be worth the service fee of about $6. Click here to see the full story on wkyc.com

Some other stores charge somewhere around $10 for delivery.

But bottom line: Can you trust them to pick out the good stuff??  YES. Save yourself a couple hours on busy weeks.


Where would we be without our “mom tribe”. If there’s one thing we’ve all learned with our close friends who are in the toddler trenches with us: help each other out!!

How many times have you bailed a friend out by watching their kid for an hour or dropping off a meal, and then the favor was returned.

When we go out of our way to help our friends, it’s appreciated more than words. And NEVER forgotten. So the next time you’re having a meltdown day, you know the BFF (old or new) who has been in your shoes will return the same favor.


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