life hack away

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Disclaimer: Where noted below, links to products in this article are affiliate links. While this is not a paid review, our purchase through these links provide compensation to Kell of a Story

Recently, right here and on The Refreshed Life Show, we talked about life hacks {aka shortcuts and tips} to help with self-care and organization, especially in the end-of-summer / back-to-school season when many of us are getting used to new schedules. There are a few we didn’t get to during our discussion. Life hack away!

Subscription boxes

This is a favorite of mine. I am kind of a legacy Amazon Prime customer. Prime became a thing in the early 2000s, and in 2003, during my first holiday season as a wife and stepmom, I was recovering from major surgery and couldn’t drive or lift for several weeks. Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping was a saving grace that year. I am still a fan, especially now that it means I can repeat-binge-watch Downton Abbey several times a year. But I digress…

Amazon offers “subscribe and save” options for many of their household and personal care products. I have not taken advantage of those yet, but I do use these services:

This is L. This is a monthly subscription for feminine care products. With two, ahem, women, in the household and one on her way to womanhood, and a variety of needs in this area, this makes so much sense to me. Now let me tell you, there are several viable options for this type of subscription: some of them even include chocolate in the box! I choose this one because of its options and price point, the fact that the products are organic, and because purchasing from L supports female entrepreneurs in developing countries. Every time a product is purchased, one is donated. To learn more about L., click my referral link. 

Dollar Shave Club. This one is brand new for me, like so new, I just got our first box this week. Again, three females shaving adds to dollars for razors, as well as actually remembering to buy the darn things. I’ve been hearing and seeing ads for this club for years and finally decided to try. I like that the number, type, and frequency of what I purchase is very customizable. Our first box included 3 razor handles to get us started; our subsequent boxes will have blade refills ($9 a month for 4), and I can choose to add other products at any time. FYI: I used mine for the first time last night and it gave a very smooth shave. In fact, I had to check and be sure there wasn’t a plastic cover on the blade! To check out the Dollar Shave Club, click my referral link.

Stitch Fix. Oh my. This one was my first real subscription box; I have been using Stitch Fix for nearly 3 years. I know other services like this are available, but I just haven’t been able to make a switch, because my Stitch Fix stylists FIND ME MAGICAL JEANS AND SHORTS. Through being a nursing mom, newly pregnant, newly miscarried, and now constantly working on tightening things within my challenging “apple shape,” Stitch Fix has never failed to find me flattering, trendy, quality pants – and shorts. It’s hit and miss with dresses in particular, and sometimes tops, but that is part of the fun. The styling fee (ranging from $20 per shipment to $49 for a yearly subscription, which is a limited offering), is subtracted from any clothing purchased, and I can honestly say, every piece I have bought from the company is made to last. Take a peak: click my referral link.

Library Apps

We talked a lot on the show about podcasts and even Audible books. Another wonderful option for reading, listening, and learning is through your local library. Many libraries now offer apps for digital content. My county library uses Hoopla, and because I have a card, it is completely free to borrow items. I am a little green on this, but I do know that some major libraries (think New York), offer paid memberships which in turn, give access to bigger/more digital libraries. If you are an avid reader or spend a lot of time commuting and listening to stuff, it’s worth checking out.

At home workouts

I know we overuse the term “LIFE-CHANGING,” but this is the real deal for me. I have had a love/hate relationship with fitness since… forever. During my adult life, I have been a member of several different types of gyms and have even spent time with a few great personal trainers. But the real deal for me in this season is that if I do find enough free time to exercise, it’s going to be walking on the beach. However, that is not enough: I need to workout more.

Beachbody on Demand has been a total game changer for me. I began in February of this year with a 21 Day Fix. During that time, I reached deep inside myself and worked out every single day for 3 weeks. This was unprecedented for me. Currently, I am in a test group for a new program that only requires 4 workouts a week. I can see definite changes in my body; not just looks (those changes are still a bit subtle, honestly), but in energy, strength, easing of joint issues, and better flexibility.

“BOD” offers more than 700 workouts that can be accessed on any device, simply using internet. This includes access to program materials like nutrition plans, weight or meal trackers, even playlists to use during workouts. FOR $99 A YEAR. It might be the best money I spent this year.

I recently became a Beachbody coach, and I do use their signature product, Shakeology, as a meal once a day. I am not in a huge weight loss season; this is a constant struggle for me. But having that one balanced meal that includes veggies and protein always helps me be alert and cuts cravings for carby, sugary snacks. I am not “working a business” here, but I would recommend Beachbody on Demand to anyone having a hard time cramming exercise into her schedule. I typically work out last thing in my day; it doesn’t require a lot of room and only minimal, equipment, but even that is optional. Anyone can do this! See the picture? I don’t look like my pal Joel, but I can do what he’s doing (with 15 pound weights!)

I highly recommend my current program “Liift4,” as well as other great ones available to you. Check them out here, and let me know if you have any questions.


Life hacks are really anything that help us get through stresses, tight schedules, or general life challenges more efficiently. As I have reiterated on the show and my social media, PEACE is the greatest life hack. If you are a believer, stop and pray. If you are a human being, stop and breathe. Life is meant not to be simply endured, but to be LIVED.

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