Four television shows that can change a mom’s life


posted by on Momelettes


I’m not a big TV watcher. In fact, up until I got my Digital Video Recorder (DVR), I only used my television at all to watch movies. Once I had my DVR up and running, I could happily watch a show during what I love to call my “quiet time” – 7AM on the couch with a steaming cup of Colombian coffee.

There are four shows that are currently on heavy rotation on the DVR (aside from my sci-fi diversions). These shows have two things in common – they all allow me to sit back and evaluate how I am currently doing something in my life, and then they show me ways to do it better.


(Discovery Home and Fit TV)

About the show:

Canadian host Hellen Buttigieg takes her We Organize U organizing and lifecoaching abilities to new levels as she not only transforms rooms, but lives as well when she gets to the REAL truth behind what caused the clutter in the first place.

What she does for others

Hellen methodically de-clutters and organizes two rooms during each half-hour show based on the homeowner’s habits. During this time, she gives the owners tips for a specific organizing problem they have. She also works with them to get to the bottom of why they are unable to get rid of their belongings (which usually brings a few tears) so they won’t revert back to their habits once Hellen leaves.

At the end of the show, the owners have “seen the light” and are usually free of their clutter burden and are able to move on to the next chapter in their lives.

What she’ll do for you

It took me a few episodes to figure out what Hellen was really doing for these people. I watched it, thought, “that’s a good tip”, and then promptly forgot about it. It wasn’t until she had redone a walk-in closet to become a mother’s personal sanctuary (complete with desk and storage) that I realized how much potential my home really had.

I put my hand on my chin and began to evaluate everything in my own house. How silly was it that my coffee maker was at one end of the kitchen, but the coffee was stored at the other end? Of course it’s a great idea to identify all clothes I wear during the year by turning the hanger around. At the end of the year, any clothes with the hangers facing one way was something I hadn’t touched. Brilliant!

Eventually, my husband started watching the show. Then he put his hand on his chin and got the bug. “Let’s see, we could put a bookshelf in that unused corner, and tie the television wires behind the wall there, and…”

To this day, he sees me walking around the house with my hand on my chin, and knows I’m ready to make something better.

Jon and Kate Plus 8


About the show

Jon and Kate Gosselin have 7 year-old twins, and 4 year-old sextuplets, for a total of eight kids. Yup, eight kids. Each week brings tasks that are normal to you and me, but become voyages of epic proportions when trying to round up all those children. Birthday parties, family outings, vacations, and even quiet nights staying home all become extraordinary when eight sets of shoes, blankets, lunches and clothes are involved.

Jon and Kate Plus 8 Logo

What the show does for others

Each week, Jon and Kate allow us into their lives for a voyeuristic look at life with two sets of multiples. At least, I’m sure that’s how it started. Discovery Health gave us a few hour-long specials about their life, and we wanted more. We wanted to see how Kate really handled it on a day to day basis. We wanted to see how much she spent on food for one week (a lot). But then things changed. We grew attached to their family like they were our family, too. We learned the idiosyncrasies of each child. We grew accustomed to Jon and Kate’s lifestyle and family dynamics. I have a feeling that if any of those kids drew us a picture, we’d have it on our fridge for a long, long time.

What the show will do for you

The show has built a community that bleeds into the actual show itself; an entire episode was once designated towards fan emails. Not only have I learned that a pizza cutter will slice pancakes into bite-size pieces much faster than a fork and knife, I’ve also learned that it is possible to have high expectations of your children’s ability to behave, and they will come through. Finally, I’ve come to realize that no matter how busy I think my life is, it’s nothing compared to the Gosselins.

What Not to Wear


About the show

TV viewers nominate a fashion-frazzled friend for a complete makeover. Fashion experts Clinton Kelly and Stacy London surprise that viewer with a two-day New York City shopping trip, complete with a $5,000 Visa card. The catch? They have to give up their existing wardrobe, and listen exactly to Clint and Stacy’s advice.

what not to wear logo

What Clint and Stacy do for others

Although the tone can come off as harsh, Clint and Stacy use “tough love” to get across how the nominee is seen by the world. Many times a nominee tearfully explains how they were passed up for a promotion because of the way they present themselves. By the end of the show, the lucky shopper has used up their $5,000, gotten a new hairstyle, her makeup done, and ends up feeling like a million bucks. Now confident in their shopping abilities, when the nominee enters a party at the end of the show, they are visibly more confident. It’s as if a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

What they’ll do for you

I think someone’s been changing the style format of the show, because lately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with lessons as to how to put together outfits, jewelry, and fitting clothes with body types. In fact, me, Queen Fashion-Challenged herself has managed to put together some of my own outfits and (gasp!) people have been noticing! It’s refreshing to see nominees of all body types, shapes, and colors. In fact, several people have been so much like me that I have saved the episodes until I can commit them to memory, become a fashionista, and jet-set around the world. Or, more realistically, until my DVR hard drive goes kaput. Even Carmindy, the show’s bubbly blonde makeup artist, has been giving more lesson-oriented makeup applications.

Hey, if I can do it, anyone can.

Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style


About the show

Currently filming its second season, TGGTS Much like What Not to Wear, the show follows the usual chain of events, starting with first evaluating the existing clothes of the nominee. Where this show differs, however, lies with the host. Tim Gunn and Veronica Webb’s sensitivity and genuine wish to help the nominee really shine through, compared to the sometimes scathing remarks of Clint and Stacy (though they have toned down over the seasons). Nominees receive gifts of purses, jewelry, and designer dresses along the way, and are often visited by various coaches to give them confidence and reduce stress in their lives.

tim gunn\'s guide to style logo

What Tim does for others

Tim and Veronica sit down and go over the nominee’s body type completely, giving a thorough overview of what clothing types will complement each body. They explain how to shop, recognizing that it’s shell-shock inducing for most of us, giving fantastic guidance along the way.

What he’ll do for you

It’s the little gems that mean the most on TGGTS. A woman was complaining once that she was getting tired and couldn’t find any clothes that fit her. Veronica’s answer? “Shopping IS hard work, and it WILL make you tired, but at the end of it, you’ll have clothes that fit and look great.”

It made me realize that perhaps a bit more effort on my part was needed. I definitely needed to hear that as a slap in the face. Another gem? “If you don’t love it and it doesn’t look great on you, don’t buy it.” That way you’ll know you are ending up with a complete wardrobe you love. Come to think of it, Hellen said the same thing when trying to wrestle a nasty old shirt out of another woman’s hand.


So why do I say these show’s will change a mom’s life? Because we need change often. We need to feel great all the time. We need to get organized. We need to sit down for twenty minutes in the morning with our coffee before the kids are up and bang out these shows before the craziness sets in! Ready? Who’s with me? In fact, get the DVDs at the store so you can watch them in the morning.

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