5 things to do in finding your own positive identity as a crazy busy mom when you’re down and feeling lost.
It’s easy to find yourself feeling a little lost in life. Having a positive identity isn’t always the easiest thing when you’re a busy mom with non-stop demands and little time for yourself. But when you do find yourself in this position, you often feel alone. You can feel stuck and as if you’re supposed to have it together like everyone else does.
But more often than not, everyone else is feeling the exact same as you are. It’s easy to believe that people you know are doing great and that they’re successful. But that’s not always the case. Feeling lost can be quite common and it’s definitely normal.
So you need to be kinder to yourself. By realizing that this is natural, you should also then be able to get yourself into a position where you can turn things around. Because that’s what you really need to do right now. So let’s think about what you need to do find your positive identity when you’re down.
The first thing you need to be able to do is slow down. When you’re trying to take on too much or do too much, you’re only making things harder on yourself. So give yourself a break. Take a step back and see if you can think about your situation objectively. When you take a breath and go at a slower pace, you’ll find that this is easier to do. And the more objective you are, you should find that it’s easier for you to work out what’s wrong.
Make Positive Changes
Because that’s usually the problem holding you back. You don’t know what’s wrong. And when you don’t know what the problem is, how can you move forward? So now that you’ve started to figure things out a little more, you can start to make a positive change going forward. Think about the changes you need to make that you can find Inc will help you with. As you start to put things into place, you should notice a difference in how you feel.
Another thing to consider here is your career. This often plays a huge part in how you feel. If you know that funds are tight, maybe you need to make a change and do something that pays well? Or maybe you’re just not happy in your job, so changing to do something that you love should help.
From here, you should then look to seek justice. If the reason you’re feeling how you are is because of an incident that happen, then find Dolman Law Group or a similar firm to help you. Do what you need to to get yourself back on track including seeking compensation.
Make A Commitment
Above all else, you have to make that commitment to yourself that you’re going to make a change and get things back on track. It’s easy to get lost and caught up in how you’re feeling. But the only thing that will turn things around for you is the decision to take action. So commit to turning things around and you should find that this lost period soon becomes a thing of the past.
How do you find your positive identity in down times? Let me know in the comments below!
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How a local find has turned into double duty as time with kids plus stress relief for me.
Every Tuesday my 4 YO and I have a routine. We go to her gymnastics class, we have a quick lunch, then we head to the library. She loves the library. I can’t blame her–there are a million kid books, but they also have toddler-level and pre-school level activities plus kid-games loaded on computers. Oh yeah–and cool things like bean bags for them to settle into when they read their books. But what I think is the best part (besides books, obvs) is their gigantic pond/flower garden behind the library. And it was in this very garden that I discovered that sometimes you can actually find time with kids plus stress relief.
I’ll admit that I’m usually the cranky pants not wanting to give in when the kids start to whine about going somewhere. Internally it sets off the ‘Heck no’ meter just because of the tone of the whine. But the truth is, we are super fortunate to live in a rural-ish area that has the space, and the donors, to make this garden a reality in the first place.
When I say it’s really cool–I mean it’s honestly almost a mini-botanical garden. Like the kind you pay to go into. It’s kept year-round so that when spring through late fall hits, it looks absolutely beautiful. Donors keep adding little special areas that they can name (you know, since they forked out the green for it), and the city keeps adding extra special stuff that my kids go nuts for.
For example, there’s now a butterfly garden area that’s specifically got milkweed and certified as a Monarch Waystation. by …. There’s another area called the Story Walk Project where each book spread is on a post so you walk and read the story. There’s also the Lender’s library which is where people donate books they don’t want any more and anyone can check them out for free to read and then return.
Also, although the water is pretty murky in the pond, it’s FULL of turtles and ginormous koi fish–which my kids go ga-ga to feed every time! And my favorite part of the garden is in the very back. There’s a gorgeous waterfall nestled in the trees with a picnic table beside it. It’s the perfect place to rest at or have an actual picnic.
So what does this have to do with doing double duty as kid time plus stress relief?
1.The kids are in love with this place.
Ok fine, I’m in love with this place, too. But seriously, they love it so much, and if the weather is nice, they beg to come to it. There’s wildlife throughout (like the crazy huge crane that sails around the pond), and loads of beautiful flowers of all kinds. They love discovering new things every time we’re there, and they’re getting OFF the stupid electronics and INTO nature!
Plus the older 2 girls are super into this ‘pretend play’ thing all the time. Which I hear is good for brain development. So as long as they’re not ‘pretending’ to throw lil sis in the water, I’m all for it.
2. It’s educational.
Besides the fact that it’s full of books, the library also has kid magazines. Think: Highlights and Cricket, and some will have the tween ones as well.
And on the outside, our pond/garden has little plaques all over it that explain what the plants are. It also has cool explanations of the statues that occupy different areas of the garden. And–this is the best coincidence ever–the Museum that backs up to the garden is called Fernland museum. It’s comprised of these cool original houses from way long ago in the town’s history that have been moved into the park. And the library’s garden has two access points to it. So you can pretty much come and go as you please. The kids also love going in there and seeing all the antique homes, and the way people lived in the 1700s and 1800s.
3.It relaxes me to no end.
I don’t know what it is about this place… Maybe it’s the perpetual wafts of honeysuckle in the spring. Or the constant warm breeze that carries the roses’ scent in the summer. But something keeps me coming back, and makes me super calm. Visiting a garden doesn’t have the set parameters that forest bathing does, but it sure beats the heck outta sitting in an office lit with fluorescent bulbs. (Whether it’s a home office or away office.)
4.It’s basically one of the cheapest forms of entertainment for your kids around.
Seriously-if you’re tight on funds, and in desperate need of something to occupy the kids while you have some downtime, I totally recommend finding your local library. (Especially in the summer. They usually do a kids reading program and give free goodie bags when you sign up. And then kids get a prize if they complete the reading challenge.)
Another thing to think about is that they also carry a ton of magazines (like adult ones you like to read and unwind to). So you can absolutely go grab a few of those or any book they have that you’ve been wanting to read. Then just head on into the kids section and park it while the monkeys find a few books to read or activities to do! (I sometimes use this time to write blog posts as well! ?)
What kinds of things do you do that are double-duty for time with kids plus stress relief? (You know, short of a Disney Cruise.) Let me know in the comments below!
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The 3 primary emergency numbers to have on have in your household binder in the event of disaster or an emergency.
When disaster strikes, it is important that you know primary emergency numbers of who you can turn to for help. Though you might have a good idea of what you should do to start sorting things out, the trauma of a disaster can often lead you to make poor decisions or get pressured into the wrong choices.
Having someone you can trust on your side is always the best way to approach any situation and whether you need to go to court to battle for your rights or just need a place to stay the night in safety, there are some people who will always be there for you.
But also, it’s really important to have these primary numbers on hand and in your household binder to easily access.
Yes, they sound expensive and just the word ‘lawyer’ can put some people off. However, a lawyer is a vital of emergency numbers to have, and is always going to be the best person to represent you in court, no matter what the issue is. They can also offer your advice and legal counsel, even before you get to a situation where you have to go before a judge.
For example, insurance companies sometimes try to withhold monies from claimants, even when you are making a legitimate claim. An insurance claims attorneywould be able to make a representation on your behalf to get the money for you, without putting you under any more pressure to sort the situation out yourself.
911 – Police, Fire and Ambulance
Again, they might seem a bit scary but the police are there to keep the peace and to help you when you are most in need. If your security system is going off, they are the people to call if your home is burgled, if you feel threatened or if you need to report someone who is breaking the law. You also have a duty of care to call the fire department if a fire starts in your home. You might be able to put out a chip pan fire yourself. But they will be able to clear the smoke and ensure that there is no ongoing risk.
911 should also be used in a medical emergency to get an ambulance to you quickly. However, you should know when it is not appropriate to call as well as when it is. The best rule is this: If you think a condition is life-threatening such as severe chest pain, a stroke or a serious accident, you should call. Your regular doctor will be able to treat anything else.
Though you shouldn’t take calling 911 lightly, you shouldn’t put it off if you need help as soon as possible. So keep other law enforcement numbers on hand as well, like the Sheriff’s office.
Your friends and family may not be professionals when it comes to disasters. But they are the best people to talk through your decision-making process and to comfort you after an incident. A strong network of friends and family you can rely on isn’t just nice, it’s essential.
Do you have any other primary emergency numbers on hand? Let me know in the comments below!
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5 insights into creating the home sweet home sensation for your family to feel at home.
There’s a huge difference between walking into a house and walking into a “home”. Indeed, we all want to create a feeling of home, for ourselves and our loved ones. But just because we buy a nice house doesn’t mean we will necessarily feel at home there.
See, our sense of home transcends the value of the bricks and mortar that make up your property; and goes beyond the aesthetic beauty of your interior design… it’s a feeling. Home is a feeling, and people have many different ways to feel at home. And one thing’s for sure if you don’t feel at home in your living environment: you’re going to feel drained, depleted, and maybe even depressed.
For some people, the sense of home comes from having a dog welcome you at the end of each day to welcome you home from work. For others it’s having freshly cut flowers in the property, cozy soft furnishings, a few bottles of nice wine lying around for a special night in, warm lighting, incense, or even watching a film by candlelight.
These are, however, merely triggers to associate the state of feeling at home. But if you don’t take care of certain things behind the scenes, such as keeping up with maintenance and repair tasks or simply paying the bills on time, the feeling of home seeps out our house like heat through a drafty window.
This article therefore looks at how to ensure a consistent feeling of “home sweet home” by taking care of some of the less glamorous aspects of creating a happy home life, beyond the standard interior design and self-care tips.
1.STAY ON TOP OF THE BILLS
Keeping up with household bills can be stressful if money is tight. With the increased energy consumption associated with extreme weather (i.e. the need for heat in winter and need for cold air in winter) comes a significant increase in your energy bill.
You may want to consider paying in equal monthly installments. This will cover the average energy consumption, throughout the year. This avoids a rather big hike in winter or summer as this is more manageable for most people.
The thing is, you want your home to be your castle not your prison; a sanctuary free from stress – not a situation where each time you go the mailbox, you dread seeing a bill, or even worse, living in fear of having debt collectors knocking on your door.
2. HOME MAINTENANCE
There’s nothing worse than having to face the horrors of a cold shower in winter or a baking hot house in the middle of summer, due to your air conditioning not working.
Whilst many people try their hand at DIY, this often ends up in frustration and a lot of wasted time. Sometimes, it’s better to call in a professional company such as ABC Home & Commercial that can take care of such matters with ease and efficiency.
3. GARDEN MAINTENANCE
Coming home each day to an overgrown garden and paint peeling off fences may not seem like a big deal. But subconsciously your brain will notice, and it will niggle at you. For it creates a feeling of chaos and things being out of control.
A garden that feels “well kept” will help you feel calm and like your life is in order. This tip is very much aligned with the psychological phenomenon of tidy house tidy mind, and this certainly extends to our garden, in fact, our cars too.
No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to get on with everyone. However, you don’t need to become best friends with your neighbors. You can instead keep things at the level of socially polite. In doing so you’ll create a sense of warmth and community between you which will pay dividends in terms of facilitating the feeling of “home sweet home” you crave. This is particularly true when you consider the alternative, which is to bicker with your neighbors.
5. CLEAN & TIDY
Keeping your home clean and tidy sounds simple enough. But often, when you don’t get a hold on this it gets a hold on you. And an untidy house can snowball out of control when left for a few days, becoming such a chaotic mess, that you don’t know where to begin. It can feel so overwhelming that you never get started.
The trick here, is to either employ a cleaner that undertakes a moderately deep clean, each week, or for you to do it yourself… with the mantra of little and often.
I hope these tips help you to instill a deeper feeling of home for you and your family!
How do you instill that feeling of home? Let me know in the comments below!
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4 smart places to spend money even when funds are tight in your budget or income.
Running a family is a tough job, especially when funds are tight. As you have the keys to the vault, it’s your job to spend yet to do it responsibly. It’s the equivalent of letting a teen get behind the wheel of a car and expecting them to drive slow. It’s pretty unrealistic. Still, the family depends on you and your partner to make the correct financial decisions, so you have to continue with semi-reckless abandon. Does the thought of this fill you with fear? It should because it’s not an easy balance to get right. Here’s how to validate spending when funds are tight.
A home is a castle. As such, it should never feel unsafe or intimidating. Tucked away from the outside world, everyone should trust they are secure. However, there are times when this isn’t the case. Take a broken door or window as an example. Cracks in the wood/glass or frame make it a prime target for burglars. Replacement windows and doors, then, are imperative to stop a break-in. To take it one step further, homeowners can invest in security gadgets such as cameras and apps. If crime is an issue in the neighborhood, there is no need to feel guilty about splashing the cash.
Aren’t they free? No, some are but others charge. And, as you can imagine, the ones that cost are expensive and effective. There is good news – an app may be able to save you money when funds are tight. Consider energy bills for a moment. Now that the summer is here, gas and electricity usage will be low, but suppliers still increase their rates. A mobile meter, one that syncs to a phone, allows the user to tweak the settings depending on the circumstances. For instance, the home is empty so you turn the electricity off completely. This is a massive money-saver.
Parents must set a positive food example for their kids. Otherwise, they’ll eat junk and grow up as a cautionary tale. The problem is that buying processed meat and microwavable meals are cheap and easy. All one has to do is throw it in the cart then transfer it to the microwave and press start. Moms should understand that splashing out a little more on healthy ingredients is an investment for the future, even when funds are tight. You’re banking on your kids learning about healthy eating and developing a hearty routine. Home cooked meals are well worth the expense in the short and long-term.
Healthy eating is also an important part of self care, and an excellent example to your kids to learn about staying healthy as a part of self care as well.
Everyone, including moms, need to relieve stress. Stress release is a super important part of self care. The kids have sports clubs, and the hubby has his man cave yet you have nothing. This has to change pronto for the sake of the family. Seriously, going for drinks with the girls seems indulgent but it’s the break you deserve. Without a way to detox, your mind will be cluttered and you’ll make bad financial decisions. Find a way to release the energy, Moms.
Where does the bulk of your budget go? Let me know in the comments below!
And don’t forget to snag your Household Budgeting Binder! (Click the image below!)
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3 places to start to organize your money in your household finances to get the most impact.
Do you know how to organize your money in your household finances? Probably not. Organizing money is a tricky situation to deal with, and the more we try, the more we seem to fail. If you’re someone who does a week by week money plan, you’ll know how every week you throw it in the bin, and start all over again because you’ve got out of budget. One of the main reasons we seem to do this is because of the temptation we face. Not only that, but thinking of all the things that we need to spend money on during the month can sometimes be hard, especially when things just keep popping up left right and centre that we have to pay for. But enough is enough. We’re here to organize your finances for you, and finally try and put you in a good place with money.
Are You Clearing Debt
If the answer to this is no, then you’re going about things all wrong. Debt is one of the biggest worries and stress that a lot of people have in their lives. But what are they doing to actively clear it? Nothing. If anything, they’re just adding it whilst buying things that they really can’t afford.
Don’t let this be you. Get in touch with companies such as personalloan.co and see if you can get a debt consolidation loan to try and get your money more managed. You don’t need a good credit score with companies like this, which is really going to go in your favour. If you’re in debt, you’re most likely going to have a pretty much credit score due to all the under payments that you will have made, and the fact that you have so much money owed against your name. At least with debt consolidation, it’s all in one place for you to manage.
Are Your Prioritizing Things
If you aren’t prioritizing things right, then you’re going to get yourself in hot water pretty quick. First in the pecking order is definitely bills. You have to make sure you’ve got everything each month ready for when it comes out of your account. If you feel as though your bills are too high, see if you can keep home costs down. Then comes things like the money needed to run your car, and the money for expenses such as food. Next should come a little bit of money to put in your savings, something everyone seems to miss out. Then comes the things that you can treat yourself with. But don’t put too much aside for this. You want to try and leave some money spare, just in case something goes wrong and you need the extra money.
Do You Have Savings?
So, we’ve talked about putting money aside when prioritizing things, but how well do you actually do this? Some people have actually mastered the art, whereas other seem to struggle with keeping money in a savings fund. Go and visit your local bank (or look online) and see what savings accounts they have available. Some will give you a better interest rate, and some will keep it locked for you so you can’t get in and out of it.
Don’t forget to snag your Household Budgeting Binder to organize your money now! (Click the image below to grab it!)
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The meal plan service I use to do meal planning with 16+ allergies and cook the same meal for 5 people, in any combination of dietary style.
Meal planning is known to be a super stressful thing for moms on a daily basis. I’ve been through the paper method of meal planning (which I revert back to periodically), and the electronic method (which I use when I feel like I already have enough recipes to suffice). But the meal plan service that I love more than any I’ve tried (and I’ve tried many) is called Real Plans.
Here’s the thing–this is a big deal. Because there are 3 of us in this household with food allergies. And it’s no easy feat to cook for everybody! Here’s our current list of allergies:
10YO: celiac (so no gluten, period), peanuts, (just now got out of corn allergy)
I’d feel faint just looking at this list knowing I had to cook for everybody, except that Real Plans is the meal plan service that has saved my life.
**AND JUST KNOW–this meal plan service would STILL be saving my life even if we didn’t have food allergies!! The customization in this program is amaze-balls!! Think: picky eaters. Yep.
And I’ve made a video to walk you through setting up an account. It shows how easy it is to navigate, make it personal, and use this service to make your life a million times easier at meal planning time, dinner-time, and shopping time!
Watch how easy it is to set this up the Real Plans meal plan service and use it for endless opportunities meal planning!
Don’t forget to snag your FREE Health Pantry Makeover Packet! (click the image below!)
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4 Ways to Finally Be Able to Fully Relax in Your Home.
If you genuinely care about looking after yourself, you will almost certainly want to make sure that you are able to fully relax in your home. Yet, so many homes do not actually make it easy to do so. The fact is that if you can’t relax in the home, then it is unlikely you will be able to relax anywhere. And being able to spend some time in relaxation is a hugely important facet of looking after yourself. For that reason, it’s worth making sure that you can truly relax and unwind in your home – and that is what we are going to look at today. Here are some pieces of advice on relaxing in the home, no matter what might be going on in your life more generally.
Carve Out Your Own Space
Everyone needs their own space to relax in. And if you don’t feel you have this, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to truly unwind and let the day’s stresses go. The space you choose can be anything at all, but you should make sure that it is somewhere where you can be truly comfortable. But also somewhere which you feel most of an affinity to. For many people, this space in the home would be the garden, and if that is true for you you should make sure that it is full of things which calm you and make you happy. If you take a look at garden-fountains.com you will see that there are many statues and fountains which you can buy which can help to keep you relaxed and focused on yourself. Consider these if you want to carve out that space as best as you van for yourself.
Surround Yourself With Memories
A big part of being able to relax in the home is being able to recall many happy memories, and this is something you can fortunately do quite easily in your own home. The simple way is make sure that you have a lot of photographs around of your happy memories. And in that way you will be much more likely to completely be able to relax in your home. However you do it, this is an important element of relaxation, so you should be careful not to overlook it. Try and make it happen for wherever you might want to try and unwind in your home. Even if that is somewhere you might not normally have these kinds of mementos.
Without comfort, you will find it very hard indeed to be able to relax, so make sure that your home is as comfortable as possible first and foremost. As long as it is, you will find it much easier to be able to relax fully, so it is definitely worth making sure that you can do so anywhere in the home where you might want to try and relax. Get this right and it will really make a world of difference to your relaxation – and your health more generally.
Get Rid of Clutter
Visual clutter is one of the number one reasons people can’t relax in a space. It causes stress, and therefore makes it nearly impossible to truly unwind. If you feel like you’re drowning in paperwork, have random things lying around all the time that don’t have a specific ‘place’, or just feel like you have too much stuff in general, consider minimalizing. It’s a great way to offload things that could be of use to others. Plus it clears your space and your mind to be able to relax in your own home.
If you’re interested in getting serious about the liberation of minimalizing, check out this awesome course! (click the image)
Grab your FREE Self Care Starter Kit! (click the image below!)
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4 unexpected home disasters, and how to plan for them.
There comes a time in home ownership where things will go wrong that you haven’t expected or planned for. It might be that you’ve taken out repairs on something but the job wasn’t good enough. It could be bad weather that causes unforeseen damage, someone taking advantage and destroying your home, a fire, a water leak, anything. The thing is, we have no idea when disaster will strike in our home. So I thought I would share some common scenarios with you and a few tips on planning for unexpected home disasters.
Issues with ongoing repairs
One of the first things you may find that you have to deal with is issues with ongoing repairs. Maybe you had something that needed to be fixed already, such as a roof after damage had been caused. You organised for it to be fixed and then it became apparent that it wasn’t fixed as well as it should have been. This is when you may need to think about a how to correctly file a roof replacement insurance claim to ensure you get some compensation and that the job can finally be done correctly. A damaged roof can cause other issues in your home. It might have been other things such as damaged walls, problems with heating systems, etc. But if they are not fixed right first time you don’t need to accept what has happened.
Bad weather causing damage
There is also the possibility of the damage occurring in the first place and this can be quite an issue to overcome. Bad weather especially can be a huge problem to your home. A lot of rainfall, storms, even more horrendous natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes can all cause severe damage to our homes and cause us to need emergency repairs to put them right. Weather disasters can also strike when we are not expecting it, or with very little warning to try and protect our homes as best we can. If you live in an area that is prone to certain types of weather it may be advisable to invest in some sort of weather proofing as an added extra measure.
It can be quite devastating to come home to find that someone else has been in it, damaged the place and stolen some of your loved belongings. It really isn’t a nice experience to ever have to go through. Damage can be caused to all aspects of your home including doors, windows being smashed, and damage to the inside. While you can never predict this disaster striking, you can do what you can to better secure your home. That might be a new alarm system, fitted security cameras and ensuring that the boundaries and gates are in good condition.
Pests taking over your home
Finally, pests can be a real pain if not dealt with quickly. Rats, mice, cockroaches and termites, to name a few, can take over your home and can even cause damage. If you think there is an infestation in your home, act fast. The sooner you get professionals to handle it, the better. They will then seal up any entry point to help avoid it happening again.
I hope that these tips help you overcome issues if disaster strikes in your home.
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5 effective ways to do me-time self care with limited finances.
When we think about self-care, we tend to think about meditating, practicing yoga or otherwise relaxing and doing something nice for ourselves – rarely if ever do we think about our finances, but we should! Money is one of the biggest causes of stress and negativity that there is and as such it is important that we all take good care of ourselves in relation to our finances, especially when we are having difficulties. Here’s how to practice me time self care with limited finances.
It’s so easy to beat yourself up when you’ve gotten in over your head in debt or you’ve overspent on your budget for the month, but where does that really get you? It gets you nothing more than stress, negativity, and worry. You need to remind yourself that your money worries will not vanish overnight. And as long as you are working towards your goals, it will all work out in the end. A little compassion can go such a long way!
Talk to Someone
Whether you talk to a trusted friend, call up a debt counselor or speak to one of the excellent credit repair companies that you’ll find at http://repair.credit/best-credit-repair-companies/, getting your worries out there and having some friendly advice sent your way can work wonders. So, don’t bottle up your money issues out of shame or, find the right person and let them help you – it’s so much healthier – and it will be a weight off your mind.
Practice Inexpensive Hobbies
When you’re dealing with financial issues, it’s so easy to spend every waking moment focusing on them and that can lead to major stress and depression. By taking on a new hobby (or even an old one) which requires your focus, whether that be knitting, drawing, yoga, or gardening, you’ll take your thoughts away from the money problem and allow yourself to have some fun. If the hobby is fairly inexpensive, then you won’t beat yourself up about having a good time when your finances aren’t exactly in the best shape.
You might be having money difficulties right now, but if you have a roof over your head and food in your belly, that is really something special and you are doing so much better than a lot of poor people who’ve found themselves in even worse circumstances. So, why not give back by volunteering at a homeless shelter, caring for abandoned pets, or giving your time to the food bank. It will put things into perspective, keep you busy, and help you to realize exactly what you do have.
In a similar vein to the above, why not practice gratitude. Get yourself a nice inexpensive notebook, or visit https://gratefulness.org/practice/private-gratitude-journal/ for a free online gratitude journal and start writing. Aim to list at least three things you’re grateful for every day and things won’t seem quite so bad once you realize how rich you are, maybe not in monetary terms, but by many other standards.
Money problems suck, but they are not insurmountable and there’s no point working yourself up into an awful state about them when that will only make things worse. So, do as many of the above as you can, stay calm and take care of yourself – it’ll all work out in the end.
Grab your FREE Self Care Starter Kit here! (click the image below!)
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5 steps to keep the fire going in your relationship or marriage so you can communicate effectively and with love and enjoy the partnership you deserve. ??
When I talk to other Moms that are younger, we inevitably get around to the question, ‘So how long have you been married?’ It’s funny to me that the assumptions are that since we’ve been married 16 years now, that we have it all figured out. We don’t know everything.
But we have, as a couple, learned to have some grit in this fairy-tale called marriage. And with that grit, and sticking it out together–through the good times and bad–we’ve also learned that staying together is one thing. But staying together while you keep the fire going is something totally different. And awesome. Fulfilling. And totally recommended.
Here’s 5 ways to do that.
1.FIGURE OUT YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE, AND YOUR PARTNER’s:
So, if you don’t know what a ‘love language’ is—basically it’s the way you understand that someone loves you. It’s how you interpret someone else’s actions to mean that they love you and care about you.
Now, this is based on the book by Dr. Gary Chapman, called The 5 Love Languages, so if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you do!!
Ok, so There are 5 Love Languages to communicate love effectively. And the thing is—we have a tendency to only show love using our own language. But if our partner speaks a different language, he will never interpret our actions to mean that we love him. This definitely won’t keep any fire going-not even a smolder.
For example, my husband’s Language is Words of Affirmation, but that’s not mine. I don’t care for words. I care for action. I’ve been lied to so much in my life that I don’t put stock in what anyone tells me until there’s actual action behind it. So when he tells me I look nice, it affects me ZERO. But if he tells me he really wants to make date night a priority, and then schedules it, plans it, gets a sitter, and makes sure we’re focused on each other, and not the phone—THAT is what makes me feel loved.
So you HAVE to be able to show them in their own language!
The basics of the 5 languages are:
>Language 1: Words of Affirmation:
To them, words matter. They feel good with good words, they feel bad and very hurt with bad words.
>Language 2: Quality Time:
Being focused on that person means 1000x more than any words ever will.
>Language 3: Receiving Gifts:
Gifts show this person you love them, like tokens of your love or appreciation.
>Language 4: Acts of Service:
Helping out around the house, or helping do other things for this person is what they need to feel loved.
>Language 5: Physical Touch:
Things that show physical affection are what gets this person’s heart racing.
*Ok—so first FIND OUT both of your love languages,
And Once you know HIS language, find some things that will really speak to him through HIS language—then plan and DO them!! (This also means he should know your love language–whether now or after you’ve started using his–so that he can understand how you feel love better and start using the same strategy.)
2.LEARN HOW TO FIGHT FAIR
So once you’re communicating with your love languages, you have to understand that that’s not gonna cover every issue going on in your relationship! If you’ve not sat down together to discuss the major topics of being in a committed relationship, check out the post: 6 Essential Goals for Couples to Communicate About NOW. You also have disagreements, some have loud arguments some head butting…
One of the WORST pieces of advice I got when my husband and I first got married was to never fight unless you’re naked. Well, guess what—when you’re naked and fighting, you’re doing 1 of two things- You’re either focusing on covering everything—because he doesn’t have a right to see me without clothes on when he’s done so and so to me—OR—you just end up doing ‘other’ things than actually arguing, and the issue gets swept under the rug until it crops up again later.
So, some common defenses that we use when arguing and fighting are: Stonewalling—just going silent and not talking about it; Over-generalizing-saying, ‘well you ALWAYS, or you NEVER’. ; and Redirecting blame—which is when, as an issue is brought up, the other person finds some way that it either wasn’t their fault or they were justified because of something you did first.
These things are crazy counterproductive, and they breed resentment.
We have to OWN our actions, and learn how to fight fair to get things truly resolved.
We also need to understand that our kids are WATCHING what we do, and how we do it. So they’re LEARNING about relationships from US. They learn to either respect, or disrespect, their potential life partner by the actions and words that you teach them.
And then the last thing about fighting that I think all couples should implement is some kind of like ritual or routine for when you’ve worked something out. Kinda like the whole, ‘Kiss and make up’ cliché. But in all seriousness, I want to have some physical connection—even if it’s just a real hug after we’ve argued to know that we’re both truly ok with the outcome of the fight.
3. Nip the resentment monster ASAP!
Ok, this is another heavy one, but it feeds from the Fighting Fair step. When you don’t fight fair, and you don’t resolve things, you get resentment. Resentment tends to build through the years in relationships. Resentment happens for all kinds of things. Plus it definitely inhibits you to keep the fire going in your relationship.
My recommendation for any couple that has resentment between them
is to go ahead and list ‘all the things’, then try to talk through them one at a time using reflective listening. This is going to take being able to do 2 things: FORGIVE , and APOLOGIZE yourself.
I say this one for step #3 because, this is a THING that you must be able to communicate while fighting fair to get through. So if you’re using your love languages appropriately, and then learning to fight fair, you should be able to get through this.
Then list the things you APPRECIATE about your partner. And do your ‘kiss and make up’ routine! It tends to be reallllly good after that kinda session!!! ?
4. WRITE SOME LOVE NOTES!
First of all—a handwritten love note shows that you’re thinking of your partner
Second of all—it demonstrates a bit of spontaneity. Which can lead to all kinds of other spontaneous acts. <wink>
Third—It shows you’re putting in the effort—These things have to be written ahead of time, then hidden in places your partner will find them, Right? That takes planning! He will recognize that!
So if you want to use this opportunity to tell him something romantic, or say thank you for something, or even apologize—those are all great things to use this for. BUT-it’s also a kinda steamy way to do naughty texting-but without the tech!
(My husband doesn’t like the naughty texting because he gets flustered since he’s frequently in meetings or dinners. But a well-written note hidden in his suitcase is always fun!)
So think of some other places to hide these that the kids won’t stumble upon: The car, under his pillow, beside his toothbrush, in any type of bag he uses regularly (like golf or a briefcase), or a toolbox. Anywhere he regularly goes into, write something up and leave it there for him to find. We used to leave notes on the windshield for each other, and it was always this like, giddy feeling to come out from something totally serious and boring to find a handwritten love note. So think about WHAT you want to say, WRITE the thing, then figure out where to PLACE it.
5. COMMIT TO NIGHTLY PILLOW TALK
Having a designated time to connect daily is super important to keep the fire going in any relationship. But when we do it in the time we’re in bed, next to each other, where we can touch and talk face to face in the quiet, uninterrupted—it has profound effects on the connection we have. And is especially good to keep the fire going in any relationship.
But you have to remember—it’s bed time! You don’t need anything to get your blood pressure spiking, or hurt anyone’s feelings or cause stress at this time. So think about good things you want to share with each other:
What happened today that was awesome? What things about your future together are you dreaming about? What’s something you super appreciated that your partner did today? What’s a heart-squeezy memory you were thinking about today? What new thing would like to try? What past struggle have two conquered that had a happy ending? Keep it happy, and positive, and upbeat.
Obvs I can’t promise this will help every issue in your marriage, but understanding the crazy effect that communication and knowing your love language and using it has on your marriage is an amazing first step!
Grab your Keep the Fire Going Worksheet right here! (Click the image below!)
What things do you do to keep the fire going in your relationship? Let me know in the comments!
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You might be thinking about going on a travel adventure with the kids this weekend or through the summer. Sounds like fun right? Just take to the roads and go wherever the wind is blowing or something a little less corny. While road trips with kids can be a fun travel adventure to do with your kids, it can also be a nightmare. Here’s how to plan a trip with kids to make sure that this isn’t the case. Let’s get started with the big one.
Are We There Yet?
No parent wants to hear this when they are driving down the road and only left the house a few minutes ago. It may sound like a cliche, but kids really will ask you this what will seem like a million times before you reach your destination. Why is this? Bored kids don’t like long rides where they have nothing to do, and while you might be enjoying the scenery, they’ll find that annoying you is far more entertaining.
There are a few ways to handle this issue. First, you can think about playing games with the kids or even putting some fun sing-along music on your iPhone to play through your speakers. That could be enough to keep them amused for at least a couple of hours. But it can still be distracting, and this might be dangerous.
Instead, then you might want to think about getting some screens for the back of your seat. That way, the kids can watch Spongebob while you enjoy a peaceful drive and the occasional giggle. Don’t worry about older kids. They’ll be glued to their phone, and you’ll just have to suffer the occasional sigh when you drive in an area with no signal.
Another fun activity on road trips with kids is to let them journal or draw. If you’ve made a bucket list as a family, it’s fun for them to each have their own Bucket List Journal to write and draw about their adventures!
It’s Road Trips with Kids, Not A Retreat
What’s the difference between a trip and a retreat? A retreat is for total relaxation. On road trips with kids, you have to still be on your guard. You need to keep an eye on your kids and make sure that you are keeping them safe.
You also need to keep your behavior under control as well. On a retreat, you can have a glass of wine with your evening meal or enjoy a beer before bedtime. When you take a trip with the kids, it’s best not to do this. Even one glass could accidentally put you over the limit. Skinner Law Firm and similar practices have seen multiple cases where people haven’t realized they were over the limit. Don’t forget, one glass won’t always mean you are fine. That’s why it’s best to avoid it completely on a road trip.
Finally, you might be interested in making sure your kids continue to eat healthily on road trips with kids. But you’ll quickly find that the restaurants on the highway have other ideas in mind. And it makes it especially harder when you have family members with food allergies. That’s why it’s best to pack a lunch or check out the roads you’ll be using online before you go to find healthy stop off points. Planning ahead you can find great restaurants that serve the quality of foods you want to feed your kids.
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4 Important Tips in Being an Ally When a Friend is Struggling
There will be times in life when the people that you care about don’t seem to be able to catch a break, and your friend is struggling. Rather than living their lives with zest and happiness, someone you love seems to be being dealt a continually rough hand by fate. Problems have a tendency to cluster together, and it’s not unusual for someone to find themselves dealing with a physical injury, an emotional problem, and financial issues all at the same time.
When you see this happening to someone in your life, your overwhelming response is likely to be one of concern— and helplessness. It’s natural to want to try and help, but when the problems keep coming thick and fast, it can feel like you’re unable to truly provide the love and support that you want to be able to.
If you do ever find yourself in the above situation, then it’s important to remember that you do have options. Here’s how you can help a friend who is dealing with multiple issues at once…
Offer practical help first and foremost
When someone is hurting or going through a rough time or a friend is struggling, your first instinct will be to respond to them emotionally. There is definitely a time and a place for this approach, but ultimately, it doesn’t really resolve any issues.
If you can, look for practical assistance you can offer before offering emotional support. If they have been injured by a vehicle, then you can help arrange medical appointments or read about GBW.law to see if they’re entitled to compensation.
Should the problem be a dispute with their spouse, you can help them look up counseling and therapy options.
Finally, financial issues are among the easiest to rectify; you could teach them to budget or, if their problems are above your level of knowledge, arrange for them to see a financial advisor.
Offer physical support
A text message or phone call might feel as if it’s enough, but realistically, it often isn’t. When going through a rough patch, people crave human interaction. If it’s feasible to do so it’s well worth paying a visit to your friend. This will give you a chance to truly discuss the problems, and for you to provide a literal helping hand if they require it.
Let them talk about them
In most cases, friendship is a two-way street, a dialog where you both share your news, views, and various happenings in your life. However, when your friend is struggling, it’s natural that their issues and how they are feeling will dominate the conversation… and you should let this happen.
Sometimes, your friend is just going to need to vent. It may be tough not to share your own news with them for a while. So it’s sensible for their bigger issues to dominate your discussions. As things improve for them, your conversations should eventually return to their normal, mutual rhythm.
Care for yourself
Finally, a small note on the importance of self-care when you are helping another person. It’s easy to neglect yourself in this scenario. So do be careful to take some time for yourself when you can. It’s easy to get burnt out dealing with the problems of others. So be cautious to preserve your own mental and physical health to avoid this issue.
How have you helped friends in the past when they were struggling? Let me know in the comments!
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The cost of owning and running a home seems to just get more and more each year. Not to mention when the demands on your family change and more costs are needed than others. And while we do all need somewhere to live and do need to get certain things, being able to reduce how much we are spending can only be a good thing, especially if wages aren’t quite changing in the way that the cost of living is. So here are some ways to help keep home costs down, including bills.
You rent or mortgage is going to be one of the biggest costs that you have each month. So you need to check that you are getting the best deal on your mortgages, in order to be spending as little as possible. As a rule, they are a pretty low-interest loan, though they are for a high amount. But the interest rates do vary. So shop around as much as you can to get the lowest interest rate; some are as low as 1.4%. This is probably the biggest way to keep home costs down.
Next to your mortgage, one of the things that you’ll spend a lot of money on is your energy bills. I mean, even when it is warm and sunny outside, you may not use your dryer or heating, but things like air conditioning, and cooking are still going to be happening. So there is no getting away from it. You can reduce how much energy you use, though, as well as looking to switch your energy provider for lower rates. Loyalty doesn’t get you anywhere as far as this is concerned, so again, shop around and switch for a better deal.
We all need to buy foods, and all need to do so with a budget that will suit us. So if you think you’re spending on groceries is getting a little out of control, then how about meal planning to start with? It means you just get what you need to work around what is already in the house. Second of all, you could bulk buy for certain items at places like Costco, so that you have plenty in the house. Then it could just mean buying fresh things to go with what is already there, each week. Using coupons and making a lot of your own food from scratch is also a sure-fire way to make your money go further and keep home costs down.
Repairs in the home can cost you a couple of hundred dollars a year, depending on the size and age of your home. But if you look to do the repairs yourself, then it can be much cheaper. If you don’t trust yourself, the do you have a partner, parent, or friend that has the skills to help? When you hire someone external for repairs, you are mostly paying for their time, rather than paying for their equipment or supplies.
Have you got any tried and tested ways that you keep your household bills and home costs down?
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6 Things to Know In Putting Together a Home Security Plan.
When you own a home you gain a sense of freedom, privacy and control over your life. You finally have a place to bring your family up, grow and develop as individuals. However, when you move into a home there will always be a risk of robbery. If you want to protect your belongings, your family and your home this year, here are some things you will need to do in putting together a home security plan.
Get an alarm system
The easiest thing you can do to for home security for you and your children is to invest in an alarm system such as this homesecuritysystem.co. By spending money on an alarm system you will be able to make your perimeter safe, have an alarm when you go to bed at night and when you leave the house. Even the sight of a camera can deter a robber from pursuing your home.
Plant thorny bushes
If you want to stop robbers from easily getting in through your windows, you can plant thorny bushes like bramble or holly underneath your windows to make them unable to get in without a fight. This makes your likelihood of a break-in much less.
Hang a bell on your doors
The easiest way for a robber to get into your home is by going to the front or back door. This is why we often won’t hear the robbery until it triggers an alarm or there is a crashing sound downstairs. To deter robbers from even entering the threshold you can hang a bell just above your door which will be triggered every time the door opens. It should scare most criminals off instantly.
If you have dog/s, just the sound of the bell will alert the dog that the door is opening during a time of day when it shouldn’t be.
Have a safe room
If you have a spare room in the home which you never use, it may be a good idea to turn it into a safe room. You can have food, water, and supplies in this room and secure locks on the inside of the doors to stop robbers being able to enter the space. This means that if you do hear sounds in your home, you have somewhere safe to go as you call the police and wait for them to arrive.
Store a bat under your bed
If you are worried about someone getting upstairs and trying to steal things from your room, get yourself a bat and keep it under your bed. Legally if a robber comes upstairs in your home you can react out of Self Defense. It will give you a sense of safety even if you never use the weapon in practice.
Know the law
It will be worth you knowing your local state laws for robbery and defense before you prepare your home and yourself. Most places have similar rules, but of course, these can vary slightly spending on where you live,so it is worth checking. If you know the law, you can be safe in the knowledge that you can protect yourself and your children if you need to.
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The easy ways to wake up in a good mood every morning, even when you have kids.
When a parent is talking to someone without children, we tend to cover up a truth a bit by saying how great kids are and that they’re the best thing on earth. Total angels. But all that changes when we’re talking to an expectant parent–maybe it’s the fact that we feel like we can’t wake up in a good mood after having kids some days–but the truth just seems to spill out:
“Ah, man, you’re going to be soooo tired.”
“Sleep? What’s sleep?”
“The mornings are the worst?”
”Just once I wish I could get woken up after 5.30am. Just once.”
“Get ready to feel exhausted all the time!”
Like we said, it’s the truth. Being a parent means you wake up feeling knackered. So tired, in fact, you feel like you’re constantly trying to move through swathes of peanut butter. It’s horrendous, but it isn’t unsolvable.
That’s right, we’ve been on the hunt for ways to wake up in a good mood, feeling super-refreshed and mega-energized and here is what we found.
H20 Is The Only Way To Start
You probably start your mornings in the same way the rest of civilization does: by making a cup of coffee in the biggest mug your cupboard has to offer. But this isn’t the best way to wake up because, if you really want to feel awake and energized, you need to knock back a big glass of water first thing. Mmm hmmm. Before you even smell any caffeine.
Put On Your Jam
For those that haven’t heard of dopamine, it’s a chemical in your brain that makes you feel like the lovechild of Beyonce and Katy Perry – super alive. And the best way to release this dopamine is to listen to your favorite songs when you wake up which, we’re guessing, include songs by both Beyonce and Katy Perry. How meta is that? Of course, we’re not saying this will totally numb the pain of being awake, but it will help you out big time.
Know How To Sleep
This may sound like some weird advice because sleeping entails closing your eyes and, voila, drifting off but, as well all know, it ain’t as simple as that. As such, there are some things you can be doing to improve your night’s sleep. No staring at your phone as you lay in bed is a good place to start, as is replacing your rubbish mattress with something top of the range, which you can learn all about at DormReports. But it doesn’t stop there. Blocking out the light with heavy drapes is good, eating certain foods before bed is good and have a white noise machine is good.
Good Breakfasts Are Good
This. Is. The. Most. Important. Meal. Of. The. Day. Period. It has to be. It’s what’s going to give you the energy and oomph to tackle the day ahead. That doesn’t mean having a nice latte on the move either. It means oatmeal or eggs, and berries and fibers and bananas and foods that are going to give you slow release energy as well as a boost right now. That’s what you want to be eating for breakfast.
What kinds of things do you do to wake up in a good mood? Let me know in the comments!
Want even better? Start your own morning routine with the Motivated Mama Mornings 4 week Challenge! (Click the image below to read more and get started!)
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4 Fantastic Ways to Squeeze in an Exhilarating Workout Today.
In the days long ago, ya know–before kids–I, like many of us who dream of times and lands past, used to have all the time in the world to work out. Go to the gym? Heck yeah! Ride my bike for 5 miles? Sure! Go for a run? Why not!
When you’re fit and basically don’t have kids, usually nothing will get in the way of your workouts and making time for exercise.
However, that all quickly changes once you have a baby. Your newborn–and older kids–demand a lot of time and attention, and it can feel like an act of congress to find even twenty minutes to head out for a run. But even though you now have munchkins that take most of your time and attention, it’s even more important to not give up on your fitness.
See, part of us finding balance for ourselves is in honing in on our health to make sure we’re feeling awesome. But the other part to that is that when we feel good physically, we’re able to mentally handle things more smoothly. We’re releasing stress, we’re doing something super healthy for our bodies, and also–we’re modeling to our kids that being physical every day is just what you do! The challenge is usually just finding that time or making the time.
1.Start In Your Own Home
If you’re really restricted with your time, you may not be able to get to the gym. That shouldn’t matter, though. For example this post has plenty of great workout tips for new moms, and one of those is to utilize what you have in your own home and to buy some other pieces of equipment that allow you to work out in your own home. This is a fantastic way to exercise at home without having to take your eyes off your kids.
Take inventory of what equipment you have at home. Make a list, then Google workouts for that equipment. Bookmark those, and put in times on your calendar to actually do the workouts in small time slots you have when you’re home! Remember–you’re training yourself to either continually quit a habit, or to finally KEEP good habits and commitments to yourself!
2. Get Your Partner To Help
I’m not gonna lie–it’s infinitely easier to work out when you don’t have to worry about entertaining a baby or small kids. (Or really even big kids–My 11 YO seems to be just as needy as the 5 YO lately.) This being said, you’ll probably need to enlist your partner/hubby to help out with the baby or kids. After all, they are the other parent, so it’s only fair that you both share the responsibility! You could even ask your partner to look after the baby for a little longer than usual to give you more chance of escaping for a workout.
Plan a time to sit down with your husband/partner and talk about time for him to take over with the kids. It’s honestly a needed mental break for you to be able to work out and focus on yourself without constantly having the responsibility for another human hanging over you.
3. Finding that elusive time
It’s important to understand that 60–or even 30–minutes of exercise doesn’t have to happen all at once every day. If you’re ok with not getting it all done at the same time, there are always ‘pocket’ of time you can use to fit in your workout ‘parts’. Maybe you walk for 20 minutes at lunch, then do a 10-15 minute HIIT workout at home. Whatever the way you want to break it up, it’s still just as effective! Don’t use the excuse, ‘well I don’t have a spare 30-45 minutes (or hour) to work out.’ You can find 10 minute chunks throughout the day to fit in broken up parts!
1-Make a list of time pockets you can think of through your day: ex, while coffee is brewing, while you’re sitting in the car rider line at school, waiting kids at home (basically waiting on ANYTHING!), while watching TV or during commercials, at lunch time, or even brushing teeth! 2-Then figure out which types of exercises you can easily do during those times! 3-And lastly–prep and DO THEM!
4. MAKE time: cut out yet another unneeded ‘to-do’
If you’re truly serious about working out once you’ve set a goal for yourself, you’re gonna have to learn how to MAKE time if you feel like you can’t find it anywhere. Once of the best ways to find more time to work out is to say NO to some other things. I know as a mom it can be super easy to either volunteer for things at school/church/work, or get roped into it by a friend or pushy event coordinator. But one of the best things you can do for yourself is start learning to say NO. Gracefully, but firmly.
1-Look at your calendar and figure out what things can be cut from your schedule. 2-Notify the person necessary and let them know you’ve over-booked yourself. No further explanation is necessary. 3-And from now on–be SUPER picky about who you let have your workout time. Think of it in those terms: Is this thing I’m being asked to volunteer for MORE important than my workout that I do for my health and my holy sanity? (Hint: it’s usually not.)
Need help simply finding more time for any kind of self care? Check out the FREE Master Course, What Good Mothers Do:
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As a crazy busy mom, part of our Self Care has to include things like time savers to keep our sanity intact. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted in my life on things that can now–thanks to technology–be done with an app or on a website. Here are my top 8 household chores on autopilot to save you loads of time each week and month!
Oh…the dreaded mealtime conundrum. Listen, I’ve been through every type of meal planning you can think of. And one thing I’ve learned is that when you find a system that works–stick with it! The most important of the household chores on autopilot is dinners for us. That’s why on a normal basis I now use Real Plans for my dinners. It accommodates for all our food allergies–which I can change anytime in my account–and then gives me an organized shopping list. It also allows for specific dietary types–so no thinking about whether or not that recipe that looks amazing on Pinterest is Paleo or not. Just use the Paleo option in your settings.
Or, if you’re not into even dealing with the meal planning part, opt instead of meal delivery services like Home Chef. All the ingredients are delivered with the recipes ready for you to cook on a weekly basis (or however you set it up in your account!)
aw, girl! The best thing since sliced bread really is here, and it’s CURB-SIDE Pickup!!! Yes–some stores do charge around $5 for this, but I can tell you, it saves me a minimum of an hour and a half by using this service! And money, too! Have you heard how you save money by meal planning and then buying only from your list? Yeah, well, I still end up grabbing tons of things that weren’t on the list. With curbside pickup, you get what you ordered. Period. This method of household chores on autopilot still involves driving to the store–but you don’t actually have to roam the aisles.
If you’re using a meal planning service, like Real Plans, just use their shopping list to order your items.
3. Ordering staples
Dear God, if I could vocalize how much I used to haaaaaaate buying ginormous boxes of diapers and TP and…well, any basic household paper goods, etc. No more, I tell ya! I did really love ordering from Amazon for this type of thing, but Target’s subscription service has proven to be more valuable to me since you can order the Target brand paper goods (cheaper), and also–it’s guaranteed to be in stock and the same price! (Which is the problem I frequently run into with Amazon.)
4. House cleaning
I used to think that Moms with a home cleaning service were uppity and maybe a bit lazy. That was before I had kids. Obviously. I now forego a few eating out trips a month to be able to afford a house cleaner every two weeks. She texts me to confirm the day before, shows up, and cleans like clockwork!
5. Touch up cleanings
These are cleanings in between the cleaning service. Especially during the summer, my kids track in so much grass and dirt it’s ridiculous. Plus bathrooms get pretty grimy in between. So I do one of two things:
1-Use the Roomba (this thing can be set to automatically vacuum on specific days/times, or I just place it in the room that needs cleaning)
2-Hire a kid to do it. Because they’re now relegated to buying their own useless toys if they want them. So they always ask for money. And I always ask for cleaning. It’s a win-win. (As long as they clean it worth a darn.) Because they’re learning 2 life-skills (money management/saving through work + how to clean whatever they’re cleaning)!
If you’re not one for laundry service, you might try paying a little extra for your cleaning service to do a few loads of laundry while they’re there. Otherwise, I enlist my kids to help with laundry (they don’t get paid for this–this is a required chore.)
And the loads I still do myself, I use the tech that comes with the washer/dryer to my advantage: Washer has a timer up to 13 hours, so I can set a load at night to go off first thing in the morning!
If you regularly give standard gifts like gift cards or flowers, check out services that just import your birthdays, holidays, and addresses and do it for you. If you’d still like to manage it, seriously, just use Amazon and have it shipped!! They’ll even gift-wrap it, include a message, and eliminate the receipt!
8. Subscription boxes
I already mentioned the food box subscription, but there are LOADS of subscription boxes available for everything under the sun these days. I’ll do a recommendation post listing as many as I can one of these days. But for now, know that you can order your date nights in a box, self care, even activities to keep kids busy (and they’re educational!)
What household chores on autopilot do you have to save time?
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3 Areas to Focus on to Create a Calming Space in Your Home and for Your Family
A really important aspect of self-care and family-care is ensuring that the home itself is the kind of place where you can feel truly relaxed and comfortable at all times. Being able to have a calming space in the home means that you will be mentally able to look after yourself and your family more effectively, so it is important to remember this when you are designing out your new home, or looking to refresh a current one.
As it happens, there are three areas in particular which you should focus on if you want to make your home more calming and relaxing for the kids and yourself to enjoy. Let’s take a look and see what you might want to think about to ensure that you get this right.
Everyone needs their own space to call their own, even very young children, and in fact this is a hugely important part of self-care as it is. As long as you have a bedroom which you can enjoy being in, and everyone else has the same, everyone is much more likely to be able to feel calm and enjoy their daily lives at home.
Therefore, it’s worth aiming for a home which is large enough to genuinely accommodate all the people within it, as space is one of those things that really does make a huge difference to how everyone feels.
You should also work on ensuring that the bedrooms are comfortable enough to spend long periods of time in. Otherwise you won’t really feel the benefit of having that space to yourself, and neither will anyone else in the family.
At certain times of year in particular, the garden becomes a really important and amazingly beneficial part of the home. When it comes to self-care, one of the best places to spend time is the garden, so it is definitely worthwhile ensuring that it is a complete and calming space for everyone to enjoy as well as they can.
A great way to ensure this is to provide a space in the form of a patio, as with something in the style of lifestyle patios you should find that the garden is a much more relaxing and enjoyable place to be. If you’re lucky enough to have two large enough trees, installing a hammock is an absolutely divine place to spend time in your backyard or on your patio.
You might also want to think of having a swing and slide for the kids, and generally just ensuring that the garden is beautiful and luxurious to spend time in. Being out in nature, while still being at home, is a great and useful way to remain calm and happy in your daily life.
The Living Room
Nothing’s quite as important, however, as the shared living spaces. For that reason you should really think about if you want to make the home luxurious, calming, and happy for everyone. The main thing here is comfort. As long as the living room is truly comfortable, you will be able to enjoy being there all the more, and it will form a much more reliable space for you to feel calm and at home, and to look after yourself more effectively. This is effective for all the family, so it is definitely worth thinking about.
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3 necessary summer self care strategies to keep you sane while the kids are home for summer break.
Okay Mommas, summer is right around the corner, and that means you’re going to be pulled left, right, and anywhere else your kids want you to go because it’s the holiday, and it’s time to play! Right? Or at least, that’s their idea of a holiday. Your idea of summer self care may be a lot more civilized. Like sitting by the pool slurping on a delicious cocktail in peace, and quiet. But of course, it’s not always that simple when you’re a parent. But having said that, it’s really important that you make some time for yourself because you should be enjoying the downtime away from work that you deserve too. So it’s all about finding the balance between catering to your little ones, and having some oh so important summer self care me-time.
Give yourself a day off
Just because you may not work during the weekdays doesn’t mean that you don’t need a day off. It’s very common for your kids to have tons of different ideas for every day that passes by. And while it’s great that they want to get out and do things, you also need to take a moment for yourself.
So choose a set day or two whether it be during a weekday or a weekend, and give yourself nothing to do – absolutely nothing. If that means letting your kids stay over at their friend’s house, or even your parent’s house – so be it. You may even decide to treat yourself to a spa day.
Get enough sleep
Whatever you do, no matter how much of a superwoman you think you are – you cannot run on nothing. You need to get enough sleep in order to recharge your batteries and take on the new day. You can ensure this by getting the best mattress to support you and all of your needs. Take a look at enough sleep to pick out your ideal form of comfort.
Then it’s making sure everyone else understands how important your sleep is. Tell your little ones that they can only come into your bedroom and wake up once the hand of the clock is past 9am, or whenever you decide – within reason!
Prepare for the finances
When you think ‘summer self care’, your finances don’t usually come to mind immediately. But finances, and having peace of mind are a big part of self care.
Your bank account is going to have a lot of visits during the summer for several reasons. You’ll be engaging in a lot more things than you usually would. Think: days out packed full of activities, refreshments, and of course ice-creams.
This will all begin to takes its toll on your purse, so a good idea is to start a summer budget now. If you had already planned on going away, then you will most likely have paid for everything already, but still do this. This is merely a holiday budget that you accumulate to pay for the costs of all those little things that gradually build up every day.
Now you know how to make sure you don’t fall off the edge, enjoy your wonderful summer!
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