Day in the life.

Are you in a funk?

November 19, 2022

Hi there Friend!

It’s a wierd time of the year around these parts. We are losing so much daylight every day, and I can feel winter knocking on my door , in my bones. This would not b so if I enjoyed winter, but as someone who lives in Wisconsin, I do not!

So I will admit to being in a bit of a funk right now. I’ve been making the transition to the change in demands in addition to the change in season, but I find it’s left me in a bit of a funk much of the time.

If you can relate at all, here are some things that I find help.

Give yourself permission to be in a funk, but don’t dwell there.

I find it effective to work through the emotions that I am feeling… the overwhelming, sad, exhausted feelings for a day or two. However, I set a time limit by saying something like “tomorrow I will set the plan in motion to start working out of this funk”. Acknowledging and processing for a day or two is the necessary first step in this process. This means with out guilt, too. Just accept where you are, and look forward to the future changing in a day or two when you set about working through the remaining steps.

Accept your limitations.

Again with out guilt. Sometimes it is my own limitations and unrealistic expectaions that throw me into a funk. Accept that you can’t do it all. Which can be hard if the people in your life expect you to. Then when you in fact can’t do it all (which for me is often), you wont be disappointed.

Examine your physical needs.

Are you not eating well? Have you been getting any exercise? these are all natural mood boosters, so when you find yourself in a funk, one or more of these things may be to blame.

Control the areas around you.

I have touched on this concept before, but creating a pretty, inviting, organized and calming space for you to be able to escape to does a soul so good. Especailly when you are in a funk. My space will be different from your space, but create a space that serves this purpose for you. Spend some time working on this space. Maybe this means de cluttering or reorganizing, or it could be that just a vase of flowers can do the trick. There is much about your day you liely cant control, that’s why it helps to find a few things you can control in a simple way.

Exercise

It doesn’t have to be intensive and it doesn’t have to be time consuming just getting some regular exercise is good, a natural mood lifter, for this reason, it’s essential.

Give

Whether you are making a neal for a friend, helping someone in an area that you excel in or just taking your childs house hold responsibilities for the day, give of yourself to others. There really is nothing else that compares to doing something to brighten the day of someone else.

Have some fun.

This is more than just doing something you enjoy. Doing and more than just having a good belly laugh. Do something that makes you smile.

Whether you’re in a funk right nbnow or want to tuck this email away for a time. I hope you find these strategies useful.

How to get some quiet time with kids at home.

November 14, 2022

Hi There friend!

This is a great reader question. How c an I ever get any time to myself with kids at home?

Here’s how it’s done.

1 Determine the time needed.

I suggest starting small. Maybe 15-20 min in most cases if your kids are younger. If your kids are older, it is so amazing to be able to devote an hour to individual time.

If this is a new concept and your not sure how it will work, I will also suggest starting small in this case. Start with a smaller amount of time that you’d like to work up to. It will be a time of adjustment.

2 Determine the place that is appropriate for each person.

For small kids we just had blanket time. This is what I called blanket training and kids as young as 9 months can be taught to stay on their own blanket with their own things. You just need to have a place for everyone in your family to have their own individual space apart from each other at least to a certain degree.

3 Gather some supplies.

What will your kids be allowed to do during this time? Ideally, these are things they would only use during this time, may have to pick up a few things from the dollar tree.

For your older kids, what would they like to do and what they would find relaxing. Start by asking them and make sure you think it’s some thing that will benefit them.

4 explain what is happening to your family.

Be clear in your expectations of course, making it exciting. Let them know how much time is involved, and when this will start and end.

Your kids will likely see this as a fun adventure to try. Especially if they have a few new little things to keep them entertained. Your older kids may give you a problem with it, but just et them to go along with it for only a week, telling them you’ll re evaluate at that time. A reward for being willing wouldn’t be out of the norm in family.

5 Play quiet music during quiet time.

Music signals the begining and the end time. But it also brings an overall sense of peace and calm during this time. If the idea is to have individual time when people aren’t really interacting with one another. Music can serve as a good reminder to that. It kind of acts like a buffer or boundry all on its own.

6 Stick to the time planned.

When time is up, things get picked up and put away. The ideal is that these are things that are only used during this time. I had little baskets for each persons stuff. And we literally called it their special basket. I think calling them this really resonates with the young kids.

This technique works best if your kids are using things they can only use during this time, at least for right now. I find that my kids of all ages look forward to this time for this very reason.

Quiet time is possible – just keep things simple.

5 truths for when life is hard.

November 4, 2022

Happy Friday!

First a couple of things.

This E mail is long. I apologize for that but I just had alot of words to say. And I think it’s worth reading all 900 words.

Second, I wrote this because it seems like there is so much hard in the world these days. There is so much struggle. I hope you’ll find these truths helpful, and if you know someone who needs the words, share them. Or just save this e mail in a things to read folder in case you might need these words someday.

Here are those truths:

1 It’s ok to not be happy all the time.

I think one of the hardest things about walking through a storm in life is having to put a happy face on. You put your happy face on to go to work, when you are caring for your kids, when your friends ask how your doing. You smile and mutter some sort of surface answer that gives no window into the pain you are feeling in the depths of your soul.

This is why I’m telling you that sometimes, most likely when you are alone in the quiet and stillness of the night, its ok to not be happy. It’s ok to allow yourself to give into your emotions at times. Its ok to allow yourself to just hurt some times of course you can’t dwell there for too long. But, letting the tears come every once in a while really is ok.

Sometimes, you just have to be real with yourself… and thats ok.

2 It’s ok to not have a plan.

It’s ok to not have all the answers, and it’s ok to not know how this season will end. It really is ok to just take it one step at a time. As I’ve walked through trials there have been times that I have talked myself through absolutely everything just one step at a time I would say something like “you have to get dressed”, “that’s all you need right now”. But you do have to get dressed.

After getting dressed I would then talk myself through the next basic thing. It could even be something like “you have to go downstairs” Sometimes when like is really hard, it’s okay to just focus on breathing.

Have you ever been in a place where you felt as though you had to remind yourself to just keep breathing? I know I have. In these times I have intentionally given myself permission to not have a plan. No plan at all. The only plan I had at that time was to just do the next thing. What ever that thing was that was the extent of my plan, and that was ok.

3 You are stronger than you think.

Sometimes we just need to hear this don’t we? In the midst of great trial we so easily feel week. We so easily feel as though there is no way that we can walk through this season of hard. During these times you can cling to this truth that I am telling you right now.

Lean in close and listen… you are stronger than you think!

4 This season of hard wont last for ever.

I know it can feel as though it will and some seasons truly are dreadfully long. However, the truth of the matter is that anyone season will never last forever. I live in Wisconsin, and I am not a fan of winter. Bit I do love how the climate in which I live constantly reminds me that there is always a new season right around the corner.

I find that when I am in a valley, it can be impossible to see the way out. Have you ever felt that way? It is during these time that you must cling to the truth of knowing that your season of hard wont last forever. Even though it feels ;like it will.

5 No one season defines you or the story of your life.

Your life is a complete story comprised of chapters, paragraphs and even sentences that together make of the whole. Just like no one chapter in a book covers the entirety of the story line, so no one season defines the story of your life, either.

It can be so easy to let a bad relationship, a bad business move, a large financial mishap. sickness, or job loss make us feel as though we are that thing. We are not someone who is that event that happened to us. Rather, there is only a set of circumstances that accured around us.

There is a important mind sgift to make here s I want to say it again in a slightly different way. You are not your circumstances, your circumstances merely happened to you.

Do you see the difference?

We so often internalize the things that happen to us. We allow them to change the way we see ourselves and this is almost always in a negative way. The truth is, that this season doesn’t define you any more than it defines your life. It si simply a season. It is simply a set of circumstances that happened to you This season isn’t really who you are when everyone seems to have all together around you. When family and friends seem to live on easy street, And, when something happens that collapses your entire life right before your eyes, cling to these truths. It’s okay to not have a plan. Your are stronger than you think you are. This season of hard wont last forever. No one season defines you or the story of your life.

Powerful stuff right there.

The good and the goods.

October 28, 2022

Hi there friend!

Last night I shared that I needed a kick in the pants. Here are the good and goods about that situation.

First, here are the good things that came from that situation. If you remember, I was procrastinating I had cause, there were alot of stressful wrenches that got throw at me the past couple of days. But at the end of the day I just needed to get this most important task done. It cpouldn’t wait any longer.

Here is the good that came from this situation (sometimes there is good that comes from something that isn’t ideal.

I got alot of other tasks done. – I kept working on something, hoping that eventually I’d have the brain space to take care of this one task. Rather than do nothing, I busied myself with other less important tasks that did get done so I crossed many other things off my list.

I felt great about all the things I got done.- I accomplished a lot

I delegated what I may not have other wise. – In an effort to free up time and brain space, I delegated alot of things to others these past few days. Delegating is almost always a hard, yet good thing.

Here are the things I did to over come the procrastinaation:

  • I allowed myself to go to bed early (the requirement was that I work on this one task) and knowing my brain could shut off and could completely unplug sounded awesome so I dove in.
  • I just started. I stopped over thinking and just started with no strings attached. I told myself I didn’t need to finish – I didn’t even think about finishing I only required that I start.
  • I got half of it done. I got half of the task done, but, I allowed this only because I truly truly could not finish, I was out of gas. And I allowed this knowing that it would be the task I would start 30 minutes after I get up (earlier that normal) and complete the task.
  • I have a couple more steps, I’ll share them nest week.

A kick in the pants.

October 20, 2022

Hi!

Some times I need to just give myself a kick in the pants.

One of the things I talk about all the time is about how it is so normal for things to not go as planned.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan since having a plan helps when things do go haywire. And, if you do tend to come unglued when things go wrong during the day, I would bet it’s because you don’t have a proper plan for the day.

Any how, that’s an entirely different conversation.

I’ve had a lot of things go wrong these past few days. I find these things do tend to come and go in waves. But, I’ve also recovered well – better than I would have expected honestly.

But, I did have one more important thing to do on Sunday, which became my one most important thing to do on Monday… and then it was on my list for Tuesday too.

Yep, I was procrastinating. Well, sort of. this task actually took more brain power then I had given all the crazy things that went wrong I think most would agree that when your day goes all wrong, it does drain you.

So, I was drained and just didn’t feel like I could do this one most important thing.

Yet the task still needed to be done. By me. And only me.

By the time 9 pm Tuesday came around I was supposed t be shut down for the day. But, this task couldn’t be put off any longer. So I’ll tell you how I finally got it done – I used a few strategies that you might find helpful when you find yourself procrastinating.

I’ll also share the good that came out of this situation. Recognizing the good help me feel less stressed with myself about how long it took me to get this task done.

I’ll share them nest week since this already is longer than I like.

The rest of the check list.

October 13, 2022

Hey Friend!

Last week I shared some things that are on my evening routine checklist. These are things I do every evening before I call it a day.

Here’s the rest of what’s on my checklist each evening.

Get things ready for the morning.

What ever you can think nof that would Make the morning go more smoothly. This could enclude making lunches, getting kids things together, or getting your things ready for work. It could also mean getting clothes figured out for the following day, and in my case it means getting my clothes and earbuds ready for the gym in the morning.

Get enough rest.

resist the temptation to do just one more thing or burn the candle too long every day. Having a good day starts with getting enough rest. And, deciding on a reasonable time to go to bed to be able to get up on is key.

A few more things to keep in mind about your evening routine.

  • Make sure it’s realistic.
  • Make sure it includes something you enjoy doing at the end of a long day.
  • Your evening routine should be something you look forward to rather than something that overwhelmes you.

There is something so valuable about doing the samett things at about the same times – routines.

And there is also something really smart about being strategic before the morning comes.

Hopefully you find my checklist helpful either to use yourself or as a spring board for ideas of what should be on your evening checklist each day.

Your Friday self.

October 7, 2022

Hey!

One of the things I like to challenge my readers with is to think of your Friday self when it’s only Monday.

On Monday, it’s so easy to feel like you have the whole week in front of you, And while that is true, it’s also common for time to get away from you.

Things come up. Things go wrong. Things take longer than planned. And I don’t know about you but as the week goes on it’s pretty easy to lose motivation and even energy.

This is where the benefit comes in thinking about your Friday self now- and taking action as though Friday is now.

Here is what I mean.

My challenge to you is to spend some time thinking about something that your Friday self will be so proud of you for doing.

And then don’t wait until Friday to make it happen. In fact, the challenge is to do it now. (Or maybe tomorrow since today is almost done).

There is no better feeling than to get a project you can feel good about out of the way early in the week.

Before all those interruptions, excuses, and road blocks even get a chance to come in and derail you.

Once it’s done, will you celebrate? Will you challenge your self to tackle another project your Friday self will feel so amazing about?

The answer doesn’t really matter, but the magic comes in having the option to choose since you’ve gotten that one thing out of the way already.

So what will your Friday self feel so proud to have done?

Kids and cleaning

Hi the friend!

A reader asked me for some tips on getting your kids to help out with cleaning.

Here are some ideas.

Limit the opportunity for clutter to collect.

This means keeping the amount of stuff they have in their rooms to a reasonable and manageable amount. This amount is completely personal and also dependant on the size of the bedroom.

You also have to take into account the availability of space in the other areas of the house for their things.

It also depends on how many children are in the bedroom, and s much more. For me, I have no more than two in each room, its very minimal.

But in having kids with clean rooms, I cannot stress enough the importance of being reasonable in what is kept in your kids bedrooms and what is not.

Set a good example of a clean home.

I know, I know, life is busy with four kids who are home, a business to run, and kids with busy life syles.

But, if you want your kids to keep their spaces clean, you have to keep your spaces clean to.

Does this mean perfect? Certainly not! But, just your kids seeing you work on keeping things clean throughput the day sets a good example even if you don’t have time to clean things completely.

I find it’s more about your kids seeing you put forth the effort rather than actually being perfect in keeping a clean home.

Let’s get real, having a home that is always clean with kids can’t really be possible can it?

Teach your kids how to take care of their things.

You will need to show them more than once in order for them to learn what you expect and to master the art of doing it, especially if they are younger.

I find it effective to start by showing them , clean up together, then supervise them cleaning, then leave your kids on their own to independently clean their room.

I’ve got a few more tips I’ll share them nest week.

Keeping your family healthy

September 24, 2022

Hi there friend!

One of those things I get asked about a lot is how to a family healthy. We still have some sickness, but with a large family I do have a slew of proto calls in place to try to help keep my family healthy, and to try to keep sickness from spreading if it does invade.

Here’s what to do.

For when people have been in public places keep your family healthy:

  • Keeping hand sanitizer in your car and in every place you can think of.
  • Out of the houser clothes get changed and washed together on sanitize.
  • Regular indoor clothes (only worn in the home) get washed together.
  • Wipe down door knobs and other surfaces touched when when someone gets home.
  • Sanitize phone and anything else that has been used in the outside world.
  • Think about where you set things when you’re out – no purse in the shopping cart – wipe down anything that has touched the outside world.
  • Keep the coat on so the clothes underneath remain free of germs.
  • Wash coat frequently (every 1-2 days).
  • Put hand sanitizer on the second you get in the car.
  • Wahing the steering wheel and interior door handles frequently.
  • Coats stay outside when you get home (hookin your garage.
  • Everyone showers immediately after getting home.
  • All guests are asked to wash hands or put on hand sanitizer.

Routine cleaning tasks.

  • Wash bedding at least once a week.
  • Wash coats once a week.
  • Daily showers just to be cautious.
  • Limit kissing – snuggles are fine.

When someone gets sick.

Isolate anyone who is sick. Including washing their dishes separately.

Remember sick ones are contagious before they show symptoms.

Sick ones can be contagious and never show symptoms.

Keeping your family healthy has never been more important. These are the things I do on a regular basis in my family.

Make yourself a priority.

August 31, 2022

Hi there Friend!

With so many responsibilities these days, and in a world that feels way too busy, werre often left having to prioritize things. But, it’s important to prioritize things on your terms at times too.

Here are somethings to keep in mind when it comes to all the demands that come flying your way.

Not everything is urgent.

This is true even if it feels like everything is in fact, urgent. Others can place demands on you that also feel urgent, simply because they are urgent to that person.

But, not everything actually is urgent.

This means that somethings will take prority while others will not, by default.

Its ok to say no.

Having enough time for the things that really matter to you means that you will have to say no to things sometimes. And this might be a new concept to you, but its so empowering.

You matter.

It can be so easy to loose yourself in the hustle and bustle of life. Sometimes, you just need to be reminded of the fact that you do matter too.

You can’t do or be all for all people.

This is so true isn’t it.

But what is also often true is that we can try to tell ourselves we can be all and do all for all people who need us.

The reality is… you can’t.

And when you prioritize yourself at times, you’ll find that you’re often able to pour more of yourself into others, too!

Kids and cleaning.

August 28, 2022

Hi there friend.

Something I’m asked all the time is how to encourage/train kids to clean up their own spaces. While this is far from an extensive strategy, I find these things to be super important.

Organize small things in containers.

Use smaller containers in their dressers to keep things like socks, underware, belts and slippers together. This is such a simple things to do and it makes a wirld of difference in them being able to maintain some sense of order inside drawers. This is especially true if their drawers are large.

Hooks work great for kids clothes and things.

Provide them with a few hooks in their room to hang hats, partially worn clothing, or even a sweater, sweatshirt or coat. This can be really cute way of adding a pop of color or decorative touch to the room while also creating more room in precious drawer space.

Use a binder for kids special things and keep sakes.

Create a binder with clear page protectors for them to keep their treasures in. Most kids like to hang onto things that have special meaning to them. This could be pictures, or cletters from thier friends or loved ones. Tis way these things not only have a place, but they are also forced to pick and choose between what to keep and what to toss. This keeps them from hanging on to too much clutter.

Let kids choose where their toys belong..

Let them be involved in the decision as to where to put their things. If they are a part of this process, they are more likely to want to put things away.

None of these things are a magic want, but they sure do work well.

You got this!

What would you do for a free meal?

August 12, 2022

Hi!

One of the things I like to do every weekend is take inventory of he food I have on hand. I do this during the week too. At times, but it’s essential on the weekend since thats when I do my meal planning.

But, its the second step thats the most important.

It might seem a bit obvious, but it’s a step that can be hard to take some times.

Here goes.

You’ve got to DO something with the food you find.

At least if you want to :

  • Save money since your not throwing food away.
  • Save some time since your not having to shop for new food until you’ve used up what you have.
  • Save space since if you keep food only to throw it away in the end,. You’ve taken upnaot of space someplace for no reason.
  • Save space since if you keep food only to throw it away in the end.
  • You’ve taken up alot of space for no reason.

This might mean that you need to get creative, but its usually not very hard.

For instance, we were having pulled pork this week while I was looking for buns, I discovered a lot of buns and bread that had gotten shoved to the back of the fridge and were past their prime. (I have kids who only like to open new bags of the things each time they need one – any one else?0

But, upon finding these buns, they were perfect for a french toast breakfast casserole sonce a crusty bread works best anyway.

Viola!

My fridge was cleaned out, I had what I considered a free meal (since I would have had to throw all these things out anyways), we had 2 breakfasts for the week covered, and my fridge was magically clean.

It was a win-win.

What would you do for a free meal?

Here’s what I did.

August 5, 2022

Hi there Friend!

I got some major projects done over the weekend, some by choice and some by force. I’ll Share some pictures over on my instagram stories if you follow me there. So be on the look out for those if you do. I hope tp share some later today , but life has gotten a little crazy here so my plans for myself these days have gone out the window and become dependant on how sick my boyfriend is.

My weekend started off with some organizing that I just couldn’t wait any longer for. We are a big puzzle family, and our puzzles needed a major over haul. We had pieces that had been found and needed to be put away. We added several more puzzles into our arsenal lately that needed to be incorporated into our puzzle system, and I bought new storage pouches for our puzzles so they needed to be put into our system too.

The office will take me much longer and is a work in progress, but here are 3 concepts to kee[p in mind when it comes to getting projects done;

If it bothers you every time you look at it, it is probably worth doing just to avoid the on going irritation.

Once you start a project, it is easier to just keep working on it. In other words, getting started is the hardest part.

Taking pictures of you progress helps. with motivation. Every time you work on a project, take a picture before, so you can see how much progress you’ve made.

Times of transition.

July 28, 2022

Hi!

It’s amazing how many things I don’t even think about when I’m driving a car. Now that I have a student driver, I’m having to think back through how I do things that are now like a reflex.

There are so many times that my kids will ask me something that I’ve never really thought about while driving.

Why do I hold my hands on the steering wheel in the way I do? How often do I check my mirrors while driving? How far before getting to an intersection do I start breaking? What do I think is the biggest distraction in terms of noise while driving.

And now that he is driving, its so nice since he likes the radio off so he can concentrate. I have wanted the radio off for years. When I’m driving in the car its one of the only times I have wuiet around me in any given day. I don’t prefer it quiet so I can concentrate like he does, but I like the quiet since my brain is so noisy

I have no idea what I did with all that noise before I started writing. Now I keep a notebook of ideas with me all the time, and many of those things eventually make it into a blog post or an email like this one.

But prior to logging my thoughts for future references I must have just kept all those things in my brain.

No wonder my head always felt heavy lol.

Driving with a brand new driver certainly is an experience. I wonder how long it takes to stop feeling as though i need to hold the side door handle. I have no idea how this supposedly helps me feel more in control, but it must.

All in all, I have to say that I’m impressed with their driving. It is still so weird though, life goes by in a flash.

What to do in times of crisis.

July 21, 2022

Hi!

The past couple of nights I’ve been sharing the reasons I find having a meal plan to be essential. One of the biggest reasons is because it saves money – no unplanned eating out, no food going unused, etc.

But, what about when you need to save money stat!

Maybe you had an unexpected expense maybe you’re experiencing a job lay off or loss… what would you do?

I’ve got a few tips for you – if you need to get money in your pocket fast with these things:

Commit to spending no unnecessary money for one week.

Doing this will allow you the dust to settle on your finances so you’ll be ready to move forward by not digging the hole any deeper. The idea here is to stop the money hemorage.

Next gather all your statements and receipts.

This means gather together all your credit card statements, bank syatements and receipts. You’ll need them in the next step.

Make it easier to stop spending money.

The truth is there is no shortage of opportunities to spend your hard earned money. And during times of crisis, this is just not a good thing. While my hope for you is that you only spend money you intend on spending, your bombarded by countless opportunities to buy, buy, buy.

Here are tow things I challenge you to do to make it easier to stop spending money during a time of urgent money stress.

  • Unsubscribe from your 3 favorite store emails. This means you’ll be tempted less.
  • Steer clear from your favorite shopping websites. Of course you know this will likely mean less shopping.
  • Start with these few things, I’ll share more tomorrow.

The other 2 reasons.

July 14, 2022

Hi there friend!

The other day, I shared 3 important reasons you don’t want to miss creating a meal plan.

Today, I’ve got 2 more reasons… and I think the best one is the last one.

Meal planning saves you money.

Meal planning saves you money since you are not going to be grabbing convenience meals because you don’t have the time, energy, or direction when it comes time to feeding your family.

We are all guilty of grabbing something that can throw our food budget for a loop due to poor planning – or no planning at all.

No last minute trips to the store.

When you know what you are doing ahead of time. When it comes to making meals, this means that there are no last minute trips to the store. There is nothing worse than discovering you are out of something you thought you had because you didn’t check ahead of time.

And, what a time saver it is to make less trips to the store. Anytime I can lessen the amount of times I need to get in my car is a win in my book.

Creating a meal plan doesn’t need to be complicated, and it doesn’t need to be time consuming.

It can be quick and painless and it certainly gets easier the more you do it.

5 reasons you don’t want to miss doing this.

July 8, 2022

Hi!

One of those things I’ve shared all over the place, including in nearly every training I’ve ever done, is the stress that this one simple thing can save.

It’s meal planning… stick with me.

I’ve got 5 reasons you cant afford to not meal plan.

Meal plans save stress.

Is there anything more stressful than having to come up with whats for dinner every night? Creating a meal plan that lasts at least an entire week only requires you to have to think of whats for dinner once in an entire week.

With a meal plan, you are covering that base once for at least 7 days. If you meal plan for an entire month at a time – even better! This is my number one benefit for putting forth the effect of meal planning.

You can multi task.

The kitchen is my favorite place to multi task because it is so easy to do. For instance, if you are needing chicken for two meals in a week, you can cook the full amount of what you need for both recepies. This is multi tasking at its best.

Here is an example. While you are waiting for the pasta water to boil you can cut the vegetables you will need for the salad at dinner tomorrow. There are so many amazing ways to multi task in the kitchen =- as long as you know what you are preparing ahead of time.

No one ever has to ask, “whats for dinner”

I think this question strikes fear into the hearts fo moms everywhere… When they have no idea what the answer is. Creating a meal plan means that you always know the answer, and if your family members are old enough to read, they never even have to ask. I never hear this question anymore, and I don’t miss it one bit! In fact, I think hearing this question is more exhausting than making the meal.

I’ve got 2 more reasons coming your way tomorrow.

Half time (and it has nothing to do with foot ball).

June 25, 2022

Hi!

With so much going on lately, the time I’ve had to focus on things that need to get done has been much less than it normaly is.

I find this in so many different things, including work.

While I live in the US, I’m pretty sure I’ve read about how in other countries there’s a mandatory nap period or something built right into the work day. And what they’ve found is that people are actually more productive then they would be with out that time off in spite of the work day being shorter.

I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve even heard of some work at homeentrepreneurs who take like a 10-15 minute power nap and swear by its effectiveness.

I’ve often thought of giving this a try – if I do, I’ll report my findings to you.

That said, I’ve got an experiment for you to try.

Tomorrow, give yourself about half the time to complete a task as you think you’ll need to complete it.

Then, set a timer and get to work.

Here’s how I did this today.

I needed to clean (as in do a small clean up – declutter first). in my office, and then mop the floors.

I gave myself 30 minutes to get the task done in about 25 minutes despite the fact that I figured it would take me a good hour.

Cutting the time in half was the key factor.

After all, whats better than less time spent cleaning and de cluttering.

I even had time to make some more of my all purpose cleaner and give the cupboards a good wipe down, which is something I planned on doing tomorrow.

Try giving yourself half the time and see how much you can get done.

Clutter truth #3

June 16, 2022

Hey Friends!

Today we’re touching on a concept we’ve talked about before. But it’s a concept that is so essential it’s worth repeating.

Clutter truth#3: Clutter is about much more than stuff.

The thing is, clutter isn’t just about the stuff that is clogging up your home collecting on your dinning room table, or stacked in the corners of your bedroom.

Clutter also spills over into the other areas of your life as well. Your clutter is affecting other things in your life… and not in a good way.

When your clutter is out of control, other areas in your life are likely out of control, too. This could be things like your diet, your lack of exercize, your patients level (or lack there of) your finaces, and so much more.

If you struggle with all these things and many more as well.

The best news is that the inverse is also true.

When you start getting a handle on your clutter, its also going to be easier to take back control in these other areas of your life.

That’s right – getting rid of the clutter in your home may very well make it easier to get rid of some of those pounds that are cluttering your waist line.

Your clutter isn’t about too much stuff. Your clutter is also about so many other areas in your life.

That’s clutter truth #3.

Have you heard this term?

June 12, 2022

Hi!

I heard a term the other day and I’m wondering if you’ve heard it.

I generally don’t pay much attention to the new slang of the words, but this one caught my attention because it references something that I find particularly annoying in my life.

I’ll actually described a scene first. Note: this isn’t something that has actually happened to me, but I share this illustration because it is something that could totally happen to me and probably to you too.

Here’s the scene.

You finally found an evening that both you and a friend you’ve been trying to reconnect with forever.

Between your schedule and her’s, it’s nearly impossible to make anything work.

But, you’re sitting in a resturaunt for dinner, so excited to catch up on the past few months when it happens.

She has a ping or a ding sound from her purse so she pulls out her cell phone.

She unlocks her phone and answers a quick text about her kids back home. And then she does it.

She clicks somewhere else and then you can see that she’s scrolling and scrolling.

Suddenly, there is someone else at your table, and that happens to be whomever is captivating her attention on her phone.

In this scenario, you’ve just been phubed

This is a term that means the same as being snubbed, but it relates to the electronic gadget.

Personally I’m glad there is an actual term for this since this is one of my own pet peeves. And, have a very firm “no electronics” at the table policy that sometimes people in my family forget about.

Now I can explain what they’re actually doing, and more importantly, how it feels when it happens to you. Maybe you’ll find this term useful to know too.

What to do next.

June 2, 2022

Hi There friend!

We’re picking up where we left off last night.

Grab new paper again. This time write out what your deepest fear is with each choce. Again, set these aside.

Ask yourself questions. On paper again a new piece for each choice. Ask yourself this question, “if I say no to this choice, can I live with myself?”

Set them aside.

Ask the opposite, now ask yourself the opposite question,”if I say yest to this choice, can I live with myself?”

These two questions are often quite telling as to what you should do.

Now sort your papers. Put each paper that is relevant to each choice in a group. That way you will have four papers in each group, one for each question listed above.

Read through them. Often times I don’t see a clear cut answer, but I can throw out some of the choices after having worked through all these questions, Many times, I am left with only two choices.

In the case of only having two choices you may see the best choiceemerge as a result of these questions.

If so, you are done.

If not, move on to this one last step.

Ask yourself how you can overcome the worst case scenario you wrote down for each of your remaining questions.

This is huge.

If we take the time to solve the situation for the worst case scenario ahead of time, the fear we often feel becomes minimal or disappears entirely.

Then, you just have to choose.

After all this work, what is the best choice for you? After all, chances are you’ll still have to pick one.

And, to great extent, you can make the choice with out much fear because you’ve already thought through how to over come the challenge that couold come as a result.

When doing the right thing is hard.

May 19, 2022

Happy Thursday!

Doing the right thing can be so hard sometimes. And, what’s “right” isn’t always so clear.

Because life is hard and sometimes it’s even harder to do the right thing.

Rather than put all my laundry away today, I put loads and more loads of the older girls laundry away because my older girls get completely overwhelmed with large tasks to the point of being paralyzed to do anything.

And they let their clean laundry pile up until it’s a large problem.

And although I have been begging them for days, maybe even weeks for some of it, to take care of their laundry, the paralysis continues. And the clean laundry sits.

But, since I know they are simply paralyzed at the enormity of the tasks, I spent close to 2 hrs putting their laundry away and cleaning their room.

These things are their responsibility.

But, life is hard.

And life is messy.

Even for others around us (just as it is for us).

So sometime, rather than take care of our own stuff and do our best to force others to do whats right, we take care of others stuff.

While our own stuff sits undone. Yet again.

Because this is what life is, isn’t it?

Life is often setting aside what we should do for ourselves to do for others instead.

Because that’s just what the right thing to do happens to be in that moment.

The most important benefit.

May 12, 2022

Hi!

Last night I shared a bit about an evening routine – why I love them and what the benefits are. But, tonight I’ll share what I think the most important benefits is.

Ready to hear what it is?

It’s a bed time. A fixed bed time.

Bed times shouldn’t be just for kids. And, your bed time shouldn’t be based on when you get certain tasks done. I know it is tempting, but an actual fixed bed time is the best way to have better evenings, and better morning.

After all, how can you expect to get up on time, if you haven’t gone to bed on time the night before?

This is a concept that we expand on more deeply. But for most overwhelmed women, bed time is based on tasks, and when they are completed. But my challenge to you is to create a timed based bed time.

Compromise

May 5, 2022

Hi!

As a type A perfectionist, I have had to learn how to manage life while putting these natural tendencies aside much of the times.

I’ve learned that the busier my life gets, the less I get to make the rules. Well, I do get to make the rules, but I have to learn how to make those rules flexible.

Here’s what I mean.

Also, as my life has gotten busier, the more I’ve learned to appreciate the game plan. Every month every week ever day every time block has to start with a plan (basically the rule)

And then, I’ve had to learn to be flexible with the game plan. This means fluid, this means adaptable, this means being able to make changes to the plan on the fly… and this means learning to embrace compromise.

With so many people counting on me for so many things, I’ve had to learn to operate with in the constraights of what life throws at me most days.

Here’s the perfect example of one way I do that.

In my perfect world I would always to go to bed at the same time. That way I could always get up at the same time.

But life doesn’t work that way since now I’ve got so many older kids who I enjoy spending time with… but since they are gone much of the day every day we’re left to spend time together at night.

And sometimes this means later at night than I would like… or that would allow me to get to bed on time.

I can make the on time happen some of the time, but not all.

Some times this means that I’m just getting less sleep to accomodate for the late night conversations and sometimes this means I’m just not able to get up as early in the morning as I should .

Since my tendency is to beat myself up for not getting up on time every morning. I also recognize that I’m human and can only get by on next to no sleep for so long.

So I made a compromise. And it has been so freeing.

My compromise is that 3 mornings a week I get up and go to the gym first thing no matter how little I sleep (I have reasons for this) This means on these 3 days my day starts and never slows down.

This also means that 2 days a week my mornings can start slower because I’m not going some where right away. I have worked my schedule out so I can sleep a bit longer if I’ve been up latter and gotten less sleep.

Doing this has given me the freedom to:

Only have to push myself 3 days a week.

Dump the guilt for not getting up on time.

Give myself permission to not be perfect.

But fully be present for my family even more.

What life looked like before this compromise was being frustrated when I didn’t have enough time or being down right exhausted all the time.

The compromise is a fairly small one, but I’ve learned that life doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Perfectionism doesn’t make you perfect, it makes you feel inadequate.

When your mistreated by others.

April 30, 2022

Hi there friend!

Something I’ve I had to remind myself of repeatedly lately is the need to remember that when it comes to being mistreated by others, there are some universal truths that are always true.

Whether your being falsely accused, misunderstood, judged, or just spoken to unkindly, here’s what is helpful to keep in mind.

It’s almost always about them, not you. We all have battles, don’t we? We all have struggles, let downs, challenges, and more. And some times these are the driver behind how we treat others. So if you’re on the receiving end, it’s helpful to remember that often times when someone lashes out at you its about them, not you.

Relationships are hard. There are so many different variables that come into play when it comes to the relationships we have with others. It’s hard to love others unconditionally (there are times that this shouldn’t be done, however). It’s hard to be kind when you’ve been mistreated, and it’s hard to be in a relationship that feels one sided and unfair. But, keeping in mind that relationships with other people are hard can help bring in some much needed perspective.

You only need answers for you. When others treat you wrong, that’s on them. And sometimes like today the only thing I can do is remind myself that I don’t have to answer for the other person when they are treating me in a way that I know isn’t right. Sometimes this is truly the only thing that can help me move forward.

I wish we lived in a world where hurts, mistreatments, abuse, and all the like didn’t happen. But keeping these things in mind might help you process when the mistreatment comes your way.

Whats next?

April 20, 2022

Hi There friend!

Have you ever found yourself saying “well, that didn’t work” or “what about”, well that didn’t go as planned.

If your like me, you likely find yourself saying things like this alot.

But…

It’s what you say that really matters.

Here’s what I would suggest.

Whats next?

In almost all cases, the answer to that question will be the same.

Plan B

It was my savior yesterday. We all need a plan B.

Just to clarify, Plan B is what You do after plan A fails.

When things don’t go according to plan (and how often does this happen)? Plan B is the next best thing. But, coming up with a new plan isn’t always so easy.

But, here’s why its so helpful to come up with a plan B… because it keeps you from wanting to just thrown in the towel. Its what keeps you from wanting to hide in the closet and just be done with the day.

When you have a plan B you can move from:

Urgency/everything falling apart- to perspective- to knowing how to pivot into the next best thing.

In most cases, what ever didn’t go well feels like its the end of the world. It feels like what ever it is, is a much bigger deal than it likely is in reality. But, its hard to remember that in the moment. Its hard to set the feelings of despair aside sometimes to be able to see through the fog ad figure out what is your next best move.

But, its a skill you can learn. And as you do it more, it gets easier (like so many things do).

There’s actually a process or system for that (yes, I have a process or system for just about everything).

It looks like this:

  • Write out what your plan A was.
  • Ask yourself what changed.
  • Come up with plan B

It really is that simple. Its just 3 steps to go from the anxiety of things that went wrong to being able to pivot a new plan.

Struggle with coming up with a plan B?

Ask yourself this:

  • What’s the worst thing that can happen now that plan A has failed?
  • What can I still salvage from plan A?
  • What needs to be modified from plan A?
  • What about plan B still accomplishes the goal?

Often times, plan B isn’t really that far off from plan A, and the failure of plan A isn’t as catastrophic as it often feels in the moment. Perspective thinking about things in a new way and removing the emotion from the failure of plan A brings all these things.

So the next time tings go a little (or a lot) wonky, just ask yourself, Whats next?

Permission

April 7, 2022

Hi Friends!!

Tonight I want to share an important and often over looked concept with you… You have permission not to do things.

Most weekends finds us doing a large amount of our cleaning. We generally have more time on the weekend, and it’s also good motivation for everyone to help since we often have some fun things planned on the weekend.

Our latest is an at home escape box.

But, this weekend, want to guess how much cleaning I did?

Next to none.

And, want to guess how many feelings of failure I have with myself about that? None.

I was with my girls at a swim meet much of the day on both saturday and Sunday. I did clean my oven and stove, but other then that, I prioritized other things.

Because I had to.

Because I recognized early on that there wouldn’t be enough time to get all the normal stuff done, I knew that I had to prioritize.

Realistically there was no way to do the normal stuff, so I had to prioritize what would make the most difference to me this week.

And I knew that I needed to refuel this weekend, so I did that too.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and this week is going to be one crazy busy week so I knew I couldn’t skip all my weekend prep things.

Something had to give, and as much as I love a clean house that’s what had to give this weekend.

But, this week is going to go much more smoothly because I prioritized what was good for something that was more strategic.

Drop. The. Mic.

Hi!

Stop expecting the hard stuff to be easy.

Drop. The. Mic.

A couple of months ago, this is what I read on the back of the T-shirt the person in front of me was wearing while I was in line.

Simple

Yet profound.

And it was the drop the mic moment for me (if your new to this phrase, it basically means it was a huge aha moment for me)

It was a huge moment for me because this is what I was honestly doing.

I was expecting the hard stuff to be easy.

Embrace the suck is another one of my favorite phrases, and I’d clung to it several times over the past years.

But this new mantra spoke more to me.

I knew things I was trying to change would be hard. Yet, I was surprised by the fact that they were… hard.

Once I totally embraced “stop expecting the hard stuff to be easy” Whenever the hard stuff was hard I just said “well, I knew that was coming”

And it made it easier to press on. Some how pushing through the hard became easier.

What is it you want to change?

What is it about you that frustrated you about you?

Change it.

And expect it to be easy.

And press on when it is.

Tough love?… Maybe… But it can’t always be easy can it?

Do your days have this?

March 19, 2022

Hi There Friend!

Fluidity.

Do your days have this?

One of the things I love most about summer are the long days. Its amazing how much the short days just make me feel so tired and like I should be in bed by 8 simply because its been dark for so long at that point. And, I think it is so much easier to get up in the morning when its not still dark for the first few hours. I love getting up at my usual time and starting to see the first little change in hue when I look out the windows.

Early mornings are my favorite time al the time, but especially in the summer.

Today my primary project was to rearrange some of the toys we keep in bins so the fit better. Some times I initially think a set of toys will fit in a smaller bin than what the actually fir in when it comes to kids putting their now things away. I can always seem to get things to fit better then they can.

But, I’m not going to have them struggle to get things picked up simply because the bins are too small.

One of the things I find most helpful when it comes to keeping my home clean and clutter free is a willingness to recognize or resort tings in a way that could make them easier to keep cleaned up.

The way we organize tings seems to constantly evolve in my home, and I think this truly helps keep my home cleaner because solutions are only solutions for so long.

PS. Teaching you to have days that can remain fluid is one of my primary missions.

Do you have one of these?

March 11, 2022

Hi there friend!

While we take care of much of our cleaning on the weekend, we do our best to keep up on things during the week in our hot spot areas. Since I find that keeping things relatively intact during the week gives us more free time on the weekend.

One of the things I have everyday is an evening cleaning routine. I can’t usually get to it every night, but I shoot for working through my evening routine 2 nights a week. This usually ends up being fairly doable for me. It’s all about being realistic in what you can get done.

Do you have an evening cleaning routine?

There are 5 primary areas that are part of my evening cleaning routine.

Kitchen

Living/family room

Bathroom (main one)

Bedrooms (this is a quick sweep)

Entry way (Stuff always gets dumped here, and all the shoes become a major tripping hazzard)

This evening routine is a quick cleaning task. I move quickly and know if I get it done even faster it’s more time I have off in the evening.

I will also say that I am not doing this alone. My kids all have part of the jobs that make up this routine

For those days when your heart is hurting.

March 4, 2022

Hi There Friends!

I was having a good day, a great day in fact with no warning of the stabbing yet familiar pain I would feel in my heart. It was a picture on facebook that triggered it. A smiling loved one having fun. Something that would normally make me happy made me so very sad at the moment.

With out warning, that place in my heart that is filled with that loved one became so very empty in that moment as I was not there to share in that happy moment that glared at me as if to mock me from the rectangular computer screen before me. My heart? It was hurting.

Has this ever happened to you? Sure , it can be triggered by something else, or nothing at all, really. But, I’m guessing that if you’ve been around for a while you have experienced the heart hurt that I’m talking about.

I will spare you the details of my experience, but I think, wait, I KNow, that there are times when our heart physically hurts. You know, those times when you feel this hole, an emptiness, a silence that echos down to the very depth of your soul – the feeling that the very wind has been sucked right out of your chest leaving you raw, reeling, and gasping for air.

There are no easy answers here, no hard and fast rules. These is only slave that can be used to patch up that hole until the next time your happiness seeps out and bleeds all over yet again.

The only solution I have found? Focusing on filling yourself with something that makes your heart happy. Focus on something that breathes encouragement, peace and love to your soul.

And then, know that tomorrow always brings a new day.

What I hate about cell phones.

February 25, 2022

Hi There!

I think technology is both a blessing and a curse. I think you might agree. As with anything, there are positives and negatives that come into our lives as a result.

Cell phones.

They are awesome right?

As a parent with older kids, I like knowing that I can keep in touch with my kids no matter where they are.

Back when I was a kid you had to find a pay phone, right?

I remember borrowing a quarter once to use the pay phone at the pool where we had swim practice to call and tell my parents they needed to come pick me up because I got sick there.

How much easier would my life have been if I had a cell phone at times like this,

It’s awesome to have a cell phone for maps, to call if you get a flat tire, and to schedule an appointment you’ve been meaning to schedule while standing in line at the bank.

What isn’t awesome is texts at certain times.

See what I mean about the blessing and a curse part?

What isn’t awesome about texts is that it allows people to assume that they can communicate with you at any moment.

Text messaging allows others to invade your life when every they want.

And this isn’t always a good thing.

While cell phones are so amazing, I think it’s easy to become a slave to everyone who wants a piece of your time – even if it’s not a time that works for you. This affects us so much more than just that moment.

For this reason, one of the best things you can do is put up some boundries about how and when people can access you on your phone.

PS: Do you find that cell phones “steal” some of your time, attention, or focus that they shouldn’t? If so, leave me a comment. (I’m thinking about sharing some tips about this if its a big enough need.

Four germ killing tips.

February 18, 2022

Hi Friends!

Cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing are different things.

Cleaning gets rid of dirt and mess. Sanitizing eliminates bacteria but not viruses, And disinfecting destroys germs. Including viruses and bacteria.

Germs are literally everywhere!

They’re inside and outside of your home and inside and outside of your body. And they’re not all the same. Bad bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa are all considered germs and take different levels of effort to destroy.

Directions aren’t suggestions.

I have to say, after much research, lysol test, and tests and tests their products against the most common and the most harmful germs to determine how to destroy them. When in doubt, read the directions on the label.

Not all surfaces are equal.

Hard non porous surfaces like your counter or door handle need a different level of care than a soft surface like your couch. Take care to know what your cleaning or disinfecting before you begin.

Is this you?

February 10, 2022

Hi There Friend!

If you have ever felt like the worst mom ever, this is for you.

I am a mom of five, so I can actually tell you a bit about being the worst mom ever.

When you think of what it looks like to be a mom… Maybe even a mom you admire, who do you picture?

Maybe you have a certain mom you know in mind.

But, you know that mom who you think has it all toether?

She’s the mom whose kids are always smiling, and when the speak they do it in that sing song voice. And, or course they never fight.

This mom is always dressed in the latest trends, yet she looks comfortable and even approachable. She’s got a warm smile, and a genuineness about her that makes you feel like she’s your long lost best friend.

Her home?

If you were to stop by at any time it would be like the latest spread from pottery barn. And she somehow manages to have the best looking display outside too.

Do you know that mom?

Then there’s you. The worst mom ever. You’d have to spend a minute thinking about the last time you took a shower. In fact, you never even got dressed today, if your being honest.

You know you’re supposed to give your kids healthy home cooked meals, but that just never happened today. You settled for the first thing that jumped out at you in the cupboard. That just happened to be the stuff that comes in the blue box.

Some days, you forget to help your first grader with their homework. Other days you just choose to forget it since you’re so tired by the time you’ve cleaned up dinner.

Your 9 yr old acts like a pre teen most days and has this attitude that has come completely out of left field. She’s even told you she hated you once, nope, twice.

You would love to have time to clean the grimy hand prints off of the front window. But you’re more than happy to call it a win when you get all the dishes put in the dish washer for the day. The nasty windows will just have to wait.

Maybe tomorrow. And then, by the time you finally got all the kids in bed the first one has already climbed out of bed for the third time to as for yet another drink.

So you snap. You find yourself screaming at your 5 yr old who got out of bed, telling him how all you want is a little piece and quiet. As you scoop him up and puthim back in bed you step on your 7 yr olds matchbox car and only come further unglued.

It’s about 2 minutes after you put your 5 yr old back in bed (in a not so gentle way) that you find yourself wishing you could just go back to the old days.

The old days when you came home after a long day at work to find the house just a you left it – nice and clean. Shortly after you arrived home your husband walked thru the door. Together you decided just to go out for dinner.

After dinner you came back home to you clean home and proceeded to get into your comfy pajamas. You curled up on the couch with the latest edition of House Beautiful while your husband sat in his chair watching sports.

The good old days.

Why can’t I just go back to the good old days?

Wait… What?!

And suddenly, the guilt comes in and you know that you are the worst mom ever. You just wished your kids away.

What’s wrong with me? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with you. Most all moms have felt like they are the worst mom ever. And, if you meet one who tells you she hasn’t, she’s lying to you.

And it’s normal to feel like the worst mom ever. And it is totally normal to reminice about the good old days when the only thing you had to worry about was where to go for dinner on date night.

Did your harsh words and your short temper make your child cry even though they didn’t do anything to warrent such treatment?

It’s going to happen. It’s going to be ok.

Let me tell you something about that mom we talked about in the beginning.

Pssst, lean in close – she doesn’t have it all together. Like you think she does.

Do you still think your the worst mom ever? I can assure you, your not.

When you feel this way, know you’re not alone and dump the guilt.

Tomorrow is a new day. Know that your kids still love you, and in most cases you haven’t done anything that will scar them for life.

Being a mom is a marathon, not a sprint, and its hard work too. And know that you don’t have to have it all together all the time (no one does)

So when you feel like the worst mom ever, remember that it’s because you love your kids that you even bothered to think such a thing.

What is it about fear?

February 3, 2021

Hi There!

Fear is a funny thing. The longer I’m alive, the more I know that what so often holds me back (and others I know) is fear.

Interestingly, it’s not always the fear of failing, although this is often the case.

There are times, however, that i find that there is actually a fear of succeeding that holds people back.

Does that sound as weird to you as it does to me?

I’m not really sure why that is. I think maybe its because even when life is hard, experiencing success still means experiencing something new, even if it is something good, which can be scary.

There is something that is so comfortable about staying in the same place, even if it’s a hard place to be in.

And I know there are times when I choose something that is comfortable over something that is better than what I currently have just because it’s familiar.

But, the thing I also know is that when I choose to ignore the fear and move forward anyway, I experience the satisfaction that comes with choosing something good in spite of the fear.

Are you feeling something new – even something good and are being held back by fear?

I encourage you to drop fear and moving forward with confidence, even if you don’t feel it.

The best things always happen when you do.

PS. Did you see my instagram stories today? These are the stories behind the craziness which is my life.

The mind set shift you want to know.

January 27, 2022

Hi There Friend!

I’ll be talking more about interruptions likely next week, since so many of you have said that interruptions are a struggle. While I talked about some solutions already, there are a few more ideas you’ll want to hear about. So make sure you’re reading my emails next week if you struggle with that.

Here are a few things to keep in mind that also might help.

What you do is largely impacted by what you feel. And it’s a repetitive cycle. What you feel greatly affects what you do and don’t do. And, the reverse is all true.

What’s your mind set? Is it a positive or negative mind set? If it’s not a positive one, it’s a negative one. And a negative mindset isn’t going to do you any favors. This is why you want to get the skills to make sure you have a positive rather then a negative mindset.

Perfection isn’t achievable. Yet, we beat ourselves up when we’re not perfect. Hear me now: You don’t need to be perfect to be successful in anything.

Less doesn’t equal more. Getting less done always equals more, in my opinion… at least as long as your doing the right things. We’re told that the more we do the better we are. Nope, nope, nope, I don’t agree, and we talk about this all the time.

These are really great things to keep in mind. Hopefully they give you a fresh perspective.

The final piece of the strategy.

January 20, 2022

Hi Friend!

These past couple of nights I’ve been sharing a strategy I use to manage interruptions better – to not let interruptions completely throw me off track. It started with a reader question on thursday night, so make sure you read both Thursday and Fridays emails.

The strategy I use looks like this.

If a task takes longer than 10 minutes to complete, I break the task down into qo minute blocks of time. I find 10 minutes is the safest bet, but in reality I may have longer than 10 minutes to work on a task before being interrupted.

Since most tasks are tasks I’ve done at least a few times before, I can pretty easily figure out 10 minute steps. If it happens to be a new task I’ve not done before, I do my best to just guess accurately.

Here’s an example.

Today I’ve got to clean out the fridge inside and out. It hasn’t got super messy, and I know there is food on there that needs to be tossed.

As you can imagine, this is a pretty big job.

So here’s how I’ve broken this task down.

  • 1. Go through the food and get rid of things – unload the rest of the fridge.
  • 2. Take out all the dirty shelves and drawers – soak them in the tub.
  • 3. Wipe down any remaining drawers or shleves.
  • 4. Wipe out the top, side, and bottom of the fridge – wipe down inside of the door.
  • 5. Wash and dry anything that is soaking – put back – load food in.

If any interruptions happen, in most cases I can at least finish the step I’m working on before breaking away.

This not only keeps me from getting off track and struggling to get back on track, but it also almost totally eliminates frustration at the interruption.

Try this technique for most of your daily tasks. How interruptions affect your day is something you can manage.

How do you manage all the interruptions?

January 13, 2022

Hi there friend!

Have you ever wondered how some people seem to easily juggle all their responsibilities? And roles while others struggle to get even one productive thing done in a day?

There’s nothing more exhausting than facing the reality of having more things to do than seems humanly possible day after day. Yet, this is the challenge that we all face in the midst of a world that only seems to be more urgent than what ever we though our day would look like.

If your like me, you start the day focused and ready to get things done (even if its just to snuggle with the kids on the couch). but are almost always faced with something ot some one else pulling you away before you can even get half way done.

I’ve got 5 kids, there is no shortage of interruptions in my life.

And the noise of all these constant demands and interruptions is so loud it feels deafening at times.

Today I’m going to share on surfire way you’ll be almost certain to get at least one important thing done each day. Once you get this one thing down, you’ll have the satisfaction of being productive with at least one thing that’s important to you everyday.

That means that if you’re a stressed out, over worked woman who feels over whelmed at the thought of getting up every day, you going to be able to wake up and not feel exhausted before your day even starts from this point forward.

My goal is to help you achieve one important thing every day, even if its just part of a task that simply can’t get done all at once.

Sound good?

PS. I’d love to know if interruptions, or getting off course is a struggle for you? If yes, please reply to this with a yes in the comment section.

The stuff no one wants to do!

December 16, 2021

Sorry if your a guy… since most readers are ladies. I choose that gender… but you can totally keep reading.

Doing that hard stuff.

Have you ever had a week where it seems as though every single day was filled entirely with all the hard stuff you could imagine?

Like me, you’ve probably experienced this, and this is what my week has been like.

Being up all night Monday being sick was only the begining of the spiral. But I certainly think there is something to be said for when this is the start of the week.

Its been a week of hard stuff for many members of my family too. I’ve had alot of hard conversations with my kids when they’ve had to face hard things. Things that hard to watch loved ones go through.

Maybe you’ve heard it already, but one of the things I like to think of and even say to my kids is, It’s time to put on your big girl/boy pants.

I’ve also said this to myself!

Much of what we’ve been dealing with this week is being blamed for things that aren’t correctly placed. Bearing the brunt of the frustration of others even when it really has nothing to do with you, and being forced to pick up the slack others leave in the way.

And so it goes.

Sometimes the only thing you can do is just show up, accept what is and carry on.

Doing the hard stuff is never easy. But, like I’ve pointed out to my kids, its so important to step back and appreciate your strength.

Recognize that the hard stuff you did today and will be doing all the hard stuff tomorrow or the nest day just a bit easier.

Maybe it would be good to tell yourself just to put your big girl/boy pants on some days. It’s something so silly, but it really does help me get over it, and get on with it.

No matter what it is, you’ve got the strength you need.

Whats growing in your bathroom?

December 2, 2021

Whats growing in your bathroom?

No, we’re not talking about a little spring time rain! We’re talking about your bathroom shower. Mold and mildew thrive in warm damp environments, which means you might have some unwanted germs blooming in your bathroom.

Spray it away!!

If you see either one sprouting up, get rid of it with a disinfecting spray. You may not know it, but it has the power to take on mold and mildew while also killing 99% of viruses and bacteria. Follow these simple steps to knock out your mold and mildew problems:

  • 1. Apply to a pre cleaned surface and spray until thoroughly wet.
  • 2. Let set for 5 minutes.
  • 3. Allow to air dry.

Repeat these instructions weekly.

Keep it away.

Its one thing to rid your home of mold and mildew, but how do you avoid their return? Here are a few tips.

Allow air to circulate.

Ensure your bathroom is well ventilated to prevent moist air from getting trapped in areas where mold or mildew might grow. After a shower turn on a fan or leave the door open to mover the moist air.

Care for your curtains.

Mold and mildew easily grow in shower curtains especially when they bunch up and stay wet. If you can, toss them in the wash regularly. If not, spray them daily with a germ killing product.

Treat your towels.

After a shower, make sure to hang your towels as flat as possible so all areas are exposed to air and have a chance to dry. Every 3-5 uses throw your towels and mats in the wash.

Use when you can’t motivate yourself.

November 25, 2021

Hi!

I was sprawled on the couch in the bedroom with my head hanging off the side.

Nothing.

I can’t do anything.

I’m emotionally spent.

It was a tough weekend.

And seemed like everything went wrong.

I felt like I was in constant damage control to try to keep everyone up beat.

And inside, I just felt like crying.

You know the feeling? When everyones pain and frustration practically derails you?

That was me.

I was done.

The laundry I wanted to fold stayed in the basket. The dishes stayed on the counter.

I did nothing.

And I really felt guilty. You know the story line.

I can’t believe I’m so lazy, why can’t I get my act together?

Do you say these things to yourself too?

You didn’t try hard enough, you need to get it together, you make your own life… why aren’t you getting up earlier? Lazy bum!

In short, they’re jerks.

And then there are bench warmers who are pretty weak because they don’t get as much game time.

The ones who say:

  • You did your best.
  • Look at that small win.
  • That’s amazing you did so much already.
  • Take a break.

If you listened to the bench warmers you’d feel pretty amazing most days.

But, they need to play the game more to build up the same strength as those other guys.

So what to do?

Every time you recognize those abusive bullies, imagine telling them, I’m not going to listen to you, then turn away and try to hear something from the bench warmers.

I used this strategy recently. They said…

Stay on the couch, you’ve done alot. You deserve to rest.

And I did.

Getting kids to help.

November 5, 2021

Hi there Friends!

If there is one thing I hear time and time again from tired moms, it’s that getting kids to help at home is like pulling teeth. I get it. I really do. It certainly feels like that in my home sometimes.

But, I find it’s helpful to work as a team.

Meaning, your kids are working with you on something that needs to get done.

Here are the reasons I find working on a family project together is beneficial, taken from todays blog post.

Builds team work

Your kids will need to how to work as a team in the ouside world. What better place to learn it than at home. Kids love being a valued member of a team, and this would be a great way to start using the “team work” messaging in the overall culture of your home.

We are always calling our family a team, and I think you will really like too,

Builds self esteem.

Kids have every opportunity to have their self esteem knocked down in the outside world, working on a family project and being part of a team is an amazing self esteem booster.

Provides an opportunity to talk and laugh with your kids.

As moms, I think we all want more intentional time with our kids. We all want to build relationships and create cherished moments together. A family project is a great way to do this.

Gets a task done.

Of course, you are getting a task done. I am quick to remind my kids of all the things they’d like me to have time for. When we work together to take tasks off of my plate, I have more time to give to them all for the things they’d like to do.

The time spent on this can be frustrating at time, but I find it truly is worth it.

Have you weighed in?

October 28, 2021

Hi Friends!,

I’ve always done ok with clutter.

At least I thought I did.

Looking back to the old me, I’m realizing that dealing with clutter is a fairly simple concept that I was missing.

Here’s the thing.

If you want to at least break even with clutter, you have to take out the equivalent of the amount to stuff that you bring in.

In other words, if you take in stuff and don’t take out at least as much stuff clutter will gain a footing.

When this happens month after month, year after year, you can easily see why clutter is the problem it is for most people.

I think you can agree with this simple clutter concept, but maybe, like me, you find the execution part is so hard.

After nearly a 2 year moving process, I learned so much about how to control clutter.

Here it is in a nut shell.

Taking the above concept to the nest level – if you want to win over your clutter you need to take out more than you bring in.

But like most people, maybe you need some real, tangible ways of doing this.

For instance:

  • Maybe you tried decluttering on your own already, but for some reason, it didn’t work.
  • Do you dread the thought of sorting through everything and not knowing where to start?
  • Does clutter just keep appearing in your home and you don’t know how to stop it?

If you can relate to any of these questions (and I know they did) then I would love to hear more about it.

A walk down memory lane.

October 22, 2021

I guess that’s why today found me talking about the “good ole days” while talking with my kids. We talked about so many things.

We talked about teen heart throbs when I was a teen, and how we had to buy a teen magazine like tiger beat if we wanted to learn about them or look at their pictures. I realized that some may have no idea what tiger beat or bop magazines were back in the day, but I saved my hard earned baby sitting money to buy just one of these magazines a week.

That, and candy.

Every weekend my friends and I went to the drug store, and this is what we bought. CAndy and a teen heart throb magazine.

We talked about what it was like to live with put internet. I know – how archaic. My kids just couldn’t comprehend what it was like to just wonder about something simple because you have no way to find out the answer.

I guess it was all the talk about the “good old days” that made me switch up the menu plan for the week to include chili for tomorrow, such a comfort food.

Do you ever have days like these? Sometimes it’s so necessary to talk down memory lane.

The results are in! I would love your help.

October 14, 2021

Hi there friend!

Wow, I’m blown away by the number of people who wrote in about what the biggest clutter struggles in your home are. There have now been hundreds.

I had planned on sharing a few tips, but it has become clear that so many are completely weighed down maybe even to the point of drawing in their clutter.

Is this you?

Even more surprising (yet not really) is that there are 5 overwhelmingly commonalities among the clutter struggles that you all have shared with me.

They are as follows:

  • Sentimental/emotional reasons.
  • Overwhelmed with where and how to start.
  • Clutter has just gotten out of hand.
  • The frustration of clutter ideas that just aren’t working, or the lack of ideas.
  • Not enough time to worry about it or make any progress.

So if you shared any one of these ideas with me, know that your’re in the large majority of those who shared their clutter struggles with me.

Whats more – is that I can relate to all of these. Clutter has weighed me down for all of these and more.

While clutter is so all consuming at times. I would love to pinpoint a bit more about how I can best help with clutter. Because the truth is, I know what it feels like to be paralyzed by clutter. I have been there when it feels like things are just too far gone to ever get back on top.

I would love to hear a bit more from you about your clutter issues.

This was my struggle.

October 7, 2021

Hi!

Several times over the past couple of years I’ve sent out reader surveys, asking questions about what’s working and what’s not in certain areas of my readers lives. With every survey there is always a question that specifically asks “what is your biggest struggle? and why?”

The why is always the most important part.

The results are so consistent it’s actually mind blowing.

The whys always include these three common answers:

  • Lack of time/energy/motivation.
  • Too busy/too much going on.
  • Lack of support/help.

But the most common theme that is every single survey and countless emails I am sent this.

Balance

A lack of balance is an exhausting feeling to have.

I know this because I have felt this way at times.

Several years ago my boyfriend was in a student based program witch left him unable to work.

This meant I was working full time, and taking care of kids too. I was actually working two jobs!

My boyfriend did what he could to help, but the program didn’t leave much time. If he failed one more time, he would be out of the program and would have to wait 5 years to be able to try again.

This was not an option.

Needless to say… my life was out of balance during that time. I was desperate to stop feeling like this.

My primary goal became finding balance (which doesn’t mean equal) with all the different demands placed on me while giving up the need for perfection and getting rid of the guilt I felt that some how wasn’t managing any of the many roles.

In my life I began doing things like:

  • Choosing what to focus on.
  • Identifying what caused me to become unmotivated.
  • Developing solutions.

And in return I gained:

  • Sanity
  • A feeling of self worth.
  • More time.

And balance.

Friends, can I just tell you how excited I am to hear so many of your storied!!

The crazy things in the bag.

September 30, 2021

Hi!

We just found out about a few out of town, overnight outings that will be taking for and with the kids in the coming months.

These unexpected expenses always seem to come at the worst times. Although, I don’t know if there really is a good time for unexpected expenses to creep up.

One of the ways we have done some “fund raising” for these expenses is collecting up all of our aluminum cans and such. Depending on where and when you turn these things in, you can make a fair amount of cash.

At first I thought this would never pay out enough.

But… I couldn’t have been more wrong! When we were able to save over $2,000 for a trip to california!

I will say it wasn’t easy work, and it certainly takes alot of time. But we estimated our hourly wage based on time spent collecting and sorting and returning, turned out to be $20 per hour!

Not too bad right?

People are all too willing to let you pick up bags from garbage day as well.

Its amazing what you can find doing it this way!

Among our treasures were knives, cups, can coolers, random toys, and odds and ends. Even cash!

We paid for the entire trip and even had some left over! It was the best trip ever!

It’s really amazing what you can do if you just put your mind to it.

3 tips about clutter.

September 24, 2021

Hi there, Friend!

One of the things I did last weekend was to just declutter a few rooms. I get rid of things throughout the years as needed, but then every spring and fall I de clutter every room in the house.

I’ve get 3 pretty powerful de cluttering tips for you today.

One of the things I think is really important to keeping clutter at bay proactively is to pay attention to the size of things. If things will take up a ton of space to store, I might not buy it in the first place.

And, I also force myself to decide where I will keep something before I actually buy it. If I can’t come up with a place for it, I’m not allowed to buy it.

Perhaps my best tip at being proactive in dealing with clutter before it actually happens is to get rid of things when the things no longer fit in my space.

For instance…

I love books. Books are my thing. Well, one of them. While I do digital books at times, I really do prefer the real thing.

As you can imagine, as someone who loves reading, I gather quite a collection of books.

When I think about possibly moving soon in the future… oh the boxes of books I would have to move.

I try to keep in mind that I may only have a certain amount of room to store those books.

So I go through and de clutter more.

So now I can store all the best ones on one shelf.

Teaching your kids to clean.

September 16, 2021

Hi there Friend!

Something I’m asked all the time is how to encourage/train kids to clean up their own spaces. While this is far from an extensive strategy, I find these things to be super important.

Organize small things in containers.

Use smaller containers in their dresser drawers to keep things like socks, under ware, belts and slippers together. This is such a simple thing to do and it makes a world of difference in them being able to maintain some sense of order inside drawers. This is especially true if their drawers are large.

Hooks work great for kids clothes and things.

Provide them with a few hooks in their room to hang hats, partially worn clothing, or even a sweater, sweat shirt or coat. This can be a really cute way of adding a pop of color or decorative touch to the room while also creating more room in precious drawer space.

Use a binder for kids special things and keep sakes.

Create a binder with clear page protectors for them to keep their treasures in. Most kids like to hang onto things that have special meaning to them. This could be things like birthday cards, special pictures, or letters from friends or loved ones. This way these things not only have a place, but they are also forced to pick and choose between what to keep and what to toss. This keeps them from hanging on to too much clutter.

Let kids choose where their toys belong.

Let them be involved in the decision as to where to put their things. If they are a part of this process, they are more likely to want to put things away.

None of these things are a magic want, but they sure do work well.

You got this!

The best things about kids movies.

September 10, 2021

Hi!

I love watching kids movies. We try to have a family movie night a couple times a month, and although I only have 1 teenager, we all really love movies that might be geared towards younger kids – myself included.

The things I find about these movies is that although they might appear to be for kids at first glance, there are always so many things that adults can take away from them as well.

Take the movie we were watching today.

With Amazon Prime, we often choose from there. Or, we do get free movies from the library. From a cost perspective, we find these two things meet our needs just fine so we don’t have to invest in other streaming services or pay for cable. Just one of the ways we’ve saved money over the years… making sure we aren’t paying for things we don’t need.

Anyway, back to the movie.

Check out this quote… I wasn’t watching the movie, but I’m always listening for these little nuggets of wisdom.

“Easy doesn’t build character”.

Isn’t this so true? This statement is so true it actually made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I heard it.

And, this statement would be relevant to so many different times in life – at least for most people.

I know I can look back on my life and see how many lessons I learned, how much strength I gained and how much character I gained by going through times of struggles.

What about you?

Don’t get me wrong, I really do prefer for things to be easy, but there is nothing that compares to the grit you get by living through hard things.

I hope if your working through a challenging time right now, this statement speaks to you as much as it did to me.

A necessary mantra to know.

September 2, 2021

Hi!

Most weeks, I make time for exercise. Whether I’m going to the gym, working out at home, heading out for a run, or getting a work out on the Peleton. Thursdays are one of my favorite work out days usually, but it just didn’t happen today.

Honestly, I just didn’t have it in me today.

I woke up with a raging headache, so there was no way I was working out this morning.
As the day went on, I just became all the more convinced that it was just not going to happen as my headache just wouldn’t let go.

Thankfully by dinner time it had subsided.

But I was reminded of my favorite mantra.

“it’s the way it went today”.

There are times when this kind of grace is needed.

And, it’s important to give it to yourself.

It really became a self care day for me. I had alot to do, but in the margins it was a day to just recuperate after some long days that have been very draining.

And for today, that was absolutely the right thing for me to do.

Sometimes caring for myself means doing nothing at all.

Tomorrow is always a new day.

Embracing the perfect.

August 29, 2021

Hi Friends!

Some days are just a hot mess, aren’t they? And like it or not, sometimes we are just a hot mess in the midst of it.

But, there’s something we can do in spite of all the hot mess. I”ll share more about it tomorrow, but for now, here are a few pieces.

It’s something that’s all about embracing your life and learning to work with in your season, your circumstances, your callings, your responsibilities and your imperfections.

Maybe like me you’ve discovered that while you can work to improve these things or make them better, you really can change them… you can only improve them.

Also like me, you might have discovered that just the act of embracing the imperfect brings a sense of empowerment. A sense of satisfaction, and a feeling of relief.

And these feelings of empowerment, satisfaction and relief are what gives you the courage and strength to try it all again the next day.

I love what Brene Brown says:

Imperfections are not inadequacies: they are reminders that we are all in this together.

I love this because I think we usually see imperfections as just that. Inadequacy. But, it’s just not true… and no one is perfect, even though it might appear that way.

If your someone who is exhausted from trying to achieve the perfect home, the perfect family, perfect nights, and just the perfect life, the you’ll be the perfect candidate to learn how to embrace the imperfect part of yourself and your life along with me.

Part 2:

August 19, 2021

Hi there Frined!

Alright!

So last week I shared one step in a two step process that will help you finally find solutions to the struggles you have in your home.

Basically, you need to diagnose the correct reasons for the struggle.

In my example, we discovered that the kitchen counters always feel like a constant mess, and we discovered why.

There were three reasons:

There are a lot of people there much of the day.

It’s a walk thru.

People eat