ChipBits for the New Year Welcome to 2018

New Year Hacks, 2018, Mom Blog, Healthy New Year, Essential Oils, Declutter, Organize, Reading, Water, Yoga, Get Off Your Phone, Tickle Fights, Bullet Journaling, BuJo, Sharpie, ChocolateGarden, Giveaway, Mabels Labels

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. No one needs more pressure. However, I do believe a new year brings renewal, revival and the opportunity to change and improve. ChipBits – if you will for a new year.

With that said, at the end of January, I present:

The Mint Chip Mama’s 2018 ChipBits (sorry) for the New Year

Hopefully some of these will resonate with you. My simple goal is to change your RBF to a smile once per day. I mean – admit it, my bad joke worked already, right?

Attainable goals, people.

You can do this.


The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018


My daughter is in second grade. She’s an avid reader. One day she asked me to join her – citing I always look at her and say I miss reading. Of course, my first response was I’m too busy putting away laundry/cooking/cleaning, but instead I said: YES! We sat together, all snuggled up, and read. Now we do it almost every night and guess what – I’ve read whole books of delicious chick lit, just like in the old days. It’s awesome. What a gift she has given me.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018

Organize Clothing Drawers Vertically

This tip comes from Barbara Reich’s book Secrets of an Organized Mom (see above, I read a book!). Organizing your drawers vertically will uncover clothes you forgot about and help you easily dump clothes you no longer want. Not gonna to lie, now opening my drawers makes me smile whereas before it was just stressful. I can see every item in there instead of just a big, fat, messy pile. Genius!


I’ve been trying to declutter a little bit, every day. One drawer, one bag of clothes, one shelf – but actively – only one thing. Then I’m done, it’s better, and it wasn’t too overwhelming. If it takes a year for my house to finally be tidy, so be it. Organizing feels good. I firmly believe more space for you to look at means more space for your mind and less stress for your eyes.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018

Drink More Water

I’m a big fan of drinking water. If you know me, you’ve most likely mocked (granted, along with me) my insanely large Aladdin Classic Insulated Mason Tumbler 32oz that I bring everywhere. I probably drink 4 of these a day and I’m still always thirsty. Water, water, water. It’s the juice of life. Plus it’s the size of my head so I can’t lose it.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018

Essential Oils

I’m still a newbie and don’t know if I buy into it yet 100%. I’ve been using them for a year and at least my house smells nice. With flu/strep/cootie season in full gear, I’m extra interested in making blends like the Marseille Vinegar/Four Thieves’ Vinegar recipe (similar to Thieves or On Guard). My diffuser is working like a boss. I’m having fun pretending to be an apothecary. Sometimes I wear an eye patch for kicks (joking).


This one weekly class is my gift to myself. It’s madness before and madness after, but for those 45 minutes – it’s heaven. If I miss a week or two I feel it – everywhere. Yoga is amazing and if you’ve never tried it, check it out. Here is an open invitation to join me.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018 80s Phone


I doubt it comes as a surprise – we’re all obsessed with our phones. Guess what? PUT IT DOWN. I’ve made a conscious effort to put my phone down when my kids are awake. Kids are only small for a shirt time and I want to be present with them, to listen to them, and to play with them. My phone distracts me 100%, 100% of the time. That’s terrible and unfair. I guarantee whatever I’m looking at is not as important as who is in front of me. So if I don’t get back to you quickly, that’s why.  If it’s an emergency, call me on my house phone. Yes, I have a house phone, and yes, it’s the one above, and yes, it still lights up when it rings.

Tickle Fights

Kids always want you to play with them – eh. Tickle the heck out of them instead. They always ask for more. Why? I don’t know, I hate being tickled, but kids are dumb. It’s also a nice way to get out your aggression. Plus, try staying in a bad mood when your kid laughs that deep laugh from their belly that’s the best sound on Earth.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018

Bullet Journal

I read about Bullet Journaling in Parents Magazine. I love the idea of physically writing down everything I need to do in one book. Plus I LOVE the idea of jotting down special things that happen so I can actually remember my life (read: this can count as my 3rd kid’s baby book… right!?). Since my scattered to-do lists are causing more stress than help, I’m in – full stop. Shockingly since I started, I’ve been getting more stuff done! And damn it feels good to cross something off your list with a pen.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018

Use a Sharpie

I started using a Sharpie marker every time I need to write something down – in my everyday life, for no reason. It’s so wrong, it’s right. I don’t know why it feels so dangerous, but it does. And everyone agrees and turns red when I ask if they also think it feels good. Join the rebellion.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018 Godiva Mint Chocolate Chip Dessert Truffles

Eat More Chocolate

Oh geez – life is short. Shut up and eat a piece of chocolate. Dark chocolate is healthy (just repeat that). Quality here, not quantity – one little piece of good chocolate or a nice little truffle, that’s the stuff. Chocolate makes you smile. I promise.

The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for 2018


Gardening is relaxing, cathartic and therapeutic. Last week I laughed at “Houseplant Appreciation Day”. Then took a group shot of my plants… which led to me repotting three… which led to me feeling really happy… which led to me trying a science experiment with bulbs in my kitchen (which is working!).

So there you have it. I hope you’ll try at least one of these ideas and that they’ll work for you too. If nothing else, if I can help cut down the time you need to hide in the closet – that’s a win. If not, I get it, maybe in 2019. But I bet you can make eating a piece of chocolate happen today.


The Mint Chip Mama - ChipBits for a New Year

Start 2018 as a Organizing WINNER!

To help, my friend’s at Mabel’s Labels have offered to give away a set of Storage Bin Labels, Write Away! Labels for Home, or Pantry & Kitchen Labels (winners choice) to one lucky reader of The Mint Chip Mama!

To enter: Comment below what your favorite hack or secret is for a better 2018!

Winner chosen 2/1/18 at 4:30pm EST.

Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 9, and 6). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member ((including a former & current PTA president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022 & 2023, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

41 thoughts on “ChipBits for the New Year Welcome to 2018

  1. Sitting down to read. I am so busy with life and household work that it is a challenge. It was one of my goals for 2017, but I was not successful. I am determined to make it happen this year!!

  2. I love this! Putting my phone away is at the top of my list too! My other resolution is to occasionally spring for a baby sitter and go out after my little guy goes to sleep. I’m definitely adding chocolate to mine as well. It’s a superfood, right?

  3. Hi. This year, I vowed to be more productive. And with this goal, I have to be organized in the way I do my work. The use of Trello and other tools across the web helps me declutter my thoughts. And of course as a mama, I hope be more organized in my kitchen too.

    To a successful 2018!


    Michelle / DSM Tool

  4. I totally agree with putting your phone down!! I think I’ve been doing a good
    job with this since my daughter was born in May, but I’m always mindful of it. I want to enjoy every minute I have with her! & I love the chocolate advice… definitely going to do that! (;

  5. OMG! The sharpie thing is so true!!!

    For 2018 I have one goal – everyday I try to actively notice something that made this day great.
    It’s not easy but I’m fighting for it – as a mom of three I’m constantly tired and I complain A LOT. Fighting for better, smiled me. Would be nice to not complain about the mess and be happy in organized place *wink,wink*

      1. I love the way you think!! drinks sounds great but I’m in Wisconsin so we can do it long-distance way 🙂

  6. Love essential oils! I am a firm believer and user. I have 2 of my 3 children using them also. There are some great roller bottle recipes! I have also tried drinking more water ~ it works on some days LOL

  7. Love your tips & I enjoyed reading this! To destress a bit, at night once everyone else is asleep, I set aside time to write in my journal a bit. Simple, yet effective! Works for me!
    Amanda Stovall

    1. Thank you! It’s funny how we can only truly relax at night once everyone is asleep. There was a great article a few weeks ago about why moms stay up so late when we’re all exhausted. Right now my guilty pleasure is binging Gossip Girl!

      1. Oooh YES!!! I love indulging in some Gossip Girl!!! It’s been a while but I used to binge watch GG & also One Tree Hill!!! (I apologize if you get this reply twice, I’m still getting the hang of using WordPress.)

  8. Hi – Great post. In my family, we call this a “vision board”. The trick is executing consistently throughout the year, which is so much easier said than done. I’m a believer in all the things you listed, but I want to give a specific “shout out” to essential oils. If you’re new, which it sounds like you are, there can be a lot to learn and a lot to unlearn actually. My family and I have been essential oil enthusiasts for almost 10 years now, seriously! We love them, they work, they are part of our every day life. I turned my passion into a business several years ago, so I may sound biased, but I wish I could convey how effective they are. My wife and I know this from years of personal experience. Explore all the options that are out there. If you take the time to research, you’ll know the right direction to go. If you want to reach out to me, please feel free. Again, great post!

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