I feel like this year I am more thankful than I ever have been before.
2020 has truly opened my eyes to what matters most in life and it’s definitely not any type of material things that matter even one little bit. It’s people. It’s our loved ones. It’s “our” people.
And it’s most definitely health.
I know the holiday’s will be hard for everyone this year. There’s just no way of getting around it. But I still hope you can find joy and happiness in your hearts and I hope you can still enjoy this wonderful season and the memories it will still bring.
I thought today I would share with you all what I’m most thankful for not only this year but every day. Because no matter what, you can always find at least one thing you are thankful for.
I can’t even describe to you the love I have for my family. Not only my husband and my son but just all the ones so close to me. They show nothing but support. Nothing but love and a helping hand whenever you need it. The gift of family is the best there is and I am just so thankful for each and every one of them that I get to call mine.
The health of myself. The health of my family and my friends. Now more than ever I am so so thankful for health and I’m never taking it for granted.
Smiles & Laughs.
Oh how much I miss seeing a kind strangers smile. I am so thankful for the smiles I get to see this year. You never know how much of a good and infectious thing it is until it’s covered up.
Plus, laughs with my hubby and son have just been the best lately. My husband and I will crack up about something (he’s a jokester) and then all of a sudden our little man will start laughing with us. It’s so cute!
As much as I love a clean house, I know I am doing great as a mom when my house is filled with toys all over. It reminds me that I’m raising a sweet, playful and adventures little boy and I would take messes over a picked up, vacuum lines showing house any day of the week.
My husband and I are blessed with some amazing friendships. I am so thankful for the friends who are always a call or text away. They will never know how loved they truly are!
There are so many more things I’m thankful for in my life but I just thought I would share the 5 most important to me right now.
I wish you all nothing but a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. I hope your hearts fill with joy and magic and that you can spend it the best way you can.
I know we hate to admit it as parents but sometimes you just need a break from being so up tight and being frustrated!
No one needs it.
So I put myself in timeout this past week. I sat down and thought of what I need to do differently to be better. To be more present and more understanding.
My son is at the age where he is bossy and learning so many new things. And along with those new things is temper tantrums. Who knew terrible two’s would start at 15 months!
It’s been exhausting. I’ve been short tempered, I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ve been working longer hours then normal. It’s just been an anxiety filled last couple of weeks.
So I put myself in timeout to figure out what needs to change and I came up with a great list!
Number one on my list was a social media break. It’s been fantastic! The relief of not seeing everyone’s opinions and problems can be refreshing when you need it. I can’t believe how toxic social media can be at times for your mental health.
I started my Christmas planning. I am a firm believer on do what makes you happy! And Christmas makes so many of us happy, so why not start decorating early this year?
I also started on my Christmas gift list. I love planning everything out and I really want to go small and meaningful this year. Especially the DIY gifts.
Taking time to get on my sons level and be more patient on what he is trying to tell me or show me even when he is doing it in a tantrum way.
Putting the phones down around my husband more and create time together even if it’s an hour of tv cuddles on the couch before bed. It’s crazy how much you can miss someone you live with when your schedules are always so opposite!
So do yourself a favor and put yourself in time out for a bit. Think of the changes you want to make as we come up on the holiday season and a new year.
There’s always room for improvement and to detox the bad out of your life! And who knew being in time out could be such a good thing as an adult!?
So, here we are back in quarantine. Yes, many things have opened in America, and now we have a third COVID spike happening in a lot of places. There are several reasons why you might have to quarantine, and it’s not necessarily because you have COVID-19. So, it’s something that we should all be prepared to deal with.
With this in mind- I am going to try to make this quarantine better than the last one. We all went a little crazy with the last one, didn’t we? Especially those of us that had to work at home. (Here is my post about working from home with kids.) I know that so many people have been stuck inside for unknown periods of time, and it can be such a struggle. But, do not give up yet! We can make this work for us and our families!
Here are some easy ways that you can manage quarantine as a mom:
1. Take a Break- I know this is easier said than done. Trust me. I know. But, part of being a good mom, a BIG part, means that you are in a good place mentally. If you’re annoyed or overwhelmed- then you need to find a way to take a break and regroup. But what do you do if you need someone to watch the kids? If you are uncomfortable with allowing someone else in your house, that is understandable. Then, the only option that I can think of is to put the kids to bed early. Make them run around for a while, give them a large dinner and send them to bed at 7pm. This way you can have a couple hours to yourself. I know that this may be impossible some days, but keep trying! You need and deserve time to yourself to do whatever you want!
2. Support Squad- Get yourself a support squad (that you can talk to about anything). Make sure that you have your besties ready in a group chat, Marco Polo, FaceTime, SnapChat, email- whatever! You do not need to be doing this alone. I would advise you to keep your friends and family separate. You may feel like you’re close to your MIL, but what about when you need to vent about your partner or talk about sex? See what I mean?!
3. Time Block- You don’t necessarily need a set schedule if you’re not that type of person. And honestly, a daily set schedule can get stressful in quarantine. But, do make sure that you have parts of your day blocked off for certain activities: play time, movie time, reading time, or everyone in their separate rooms- quiet time. Even a little structure is good for your kids. It will also help your sanity. Having a schedule, or some kind of plan, will give you hope when you think you just can’t take one more second, you don’t have to! Move on to the next activity!
4. Set Boundaries- This can be any type of boundary that you need. Maybe you limit snacks, time or spaces. Whatever works for you. But, let me tell you, you cannot live a free for all and have everyone make it out alright. It’s just not going to happen. With my husband and son, I make the kitchen off limits when I’m cooking dinner. They cannot come in for snacks or to bug me during that time. They can go anywhere else, just not the kitchen while I’m cooking. It’s a time that I look forward to every day.
5. Special Celebrations- When you don’t know what day it is in quarantine, and everything seems to be running together: no one’s showering, changing clothes or deciphering between meals… Then it is time for you to shake things up. You need something special to do! This may sound like extra work, but it does not have to be. Make it simple, but different. You could have a special movie marathon, like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones- anything in a series works. Or, you could have a fun theme for the day. Just make some kind of doable plans that will get your family excited. It’s always important to have something to look forward to!
6. Refresh and Revitalize- This sounds a lot like a shampoo commercial, but I think it’s something that the whole family needs to do often (daily if possible) when in quarantine. A great way to refresh is to go outside. I know that this one is a hassle, and it’s getting colder. I get it, but you will not regret the fresh air. Also, think about having family yoga or taking an online exercise class together. Do something that gets the blood flowing and raises everyone’s spirits.
Quarantine is definitely a time to let things go- but not too far! Don’t lose yourself or your sanity. Make a point to keep some law and order- or invent new tactics if you need to. When everything shut down in the spring, I didn’t have a plan for quarantine. I didn’t know what it would be like or how long it would last.
Now that I know how dark things can get, I don’t want to go there again. If I find myself in the same clothes for 4 days in a row eating lasagna while my 2 year old is watching the Simpsons naked at 3am, then I know I have let quarantine get the best of me. This is not the kind of mom that I want to be.. again.
Get a little bit of structure and spontaneity in the mix if you can. Stay positive and know that if we all follow guidelines and quarantine rules- we will be okay!
Wow, it feels good to be back on the blog this week!
I took a much needed break from the blog, and the socials. We have had a lot going on these past few months.
A lot of hard decisions were made regarding school, and work. I don’t necessarily regret decisions That I’ve made, but if I could go back and make those changes I probably would.
However, I am learning things about my expectations aren’t necessarily attainable or something I can make a reality. I’m trying to form this “perfect” life that is an Instagram highlight reel.
Having a clean, perfectly organized house was something that I have always strived for. Now don’t get me wrong here, my house is far from it. However, I do think that having a well organized house, definitely helps with having a happy environment. It is so nice that when we go to do a craft or want to play with our Barbies, that I know exactly where to go to find the stuff we need for the activity.
I’ve recently reminded myself that my daughters are not going to remember how organized, or disorganized at the moment, the house was, they’re going to remember how warm and joyful our home was.
I’m also trying to stop comparing myself to other moms or women in general on social media. Amanda has touched on this subject before, and she said it so well in this blog here. She also wrote a good one about Expectations v. Reality!
Let’s face it, our faces (no pun intended) are in our phones and iPads more now then ever. I find myself constantly scrolling through social media saying to myself how I wish I could have all those clothes she has, or I wish I was as skinny as her, or even asking myself why would someone need that many hand bags?!
The world of social media is a wicked one. People post the good, not the bad. I am trying my hardest to not compare myself. I’m taking more breaks from social media (and our blog apparently). I am enjoying the quality time I have with my family.
Being a mom is rewarding and hard as hell. Every mom will tell you that. There is no “perfect” mom. We all have our spectacular mom days, where you are exhausted because you did all the things your kids wanted to do that day, but we also have our imperfect mom days where you sat on the couch watching The Home Edit while they played (argued) for four hours in their room. It’s called balance, ladies and gents!
So, drop the hard expectations you have for yourselves and be the mom you want to be. Create the childhood you want your kids to remember.
I couldn’t leave the blog without wishing you all a Happy & Safe Halloween! It is hands down our favorite holiday. We are too excited! I will post our costume on our Instagram and Facebook, so make sure to follow us on there, but here’s a pumpkin picture!
Pumpkins, apples, Halloween, THANKSGIVING! It’s my favorite time of year.
I love waking up on a chilly morning with coffee in my hand, taking the pups out for a morning run (the dogs, not me!). I go check on the chickens, and Pauly our rooster let’s put his cock-a-doodle-doo!
Fall mornings seems like everything moves a little slower for me.
My youngest had me print out our fall bucket list! I’ll insert it below!
I created my own bucket list for fall. Mine is going to look a bit different.
Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the way the leaves turn, and enjoy how the air gets more crisp. Enjoy family time with the hubby and my daughters. They grow so quick, so enjoy the little moments.
Make time for my husband.
We get so lost in taking care of the kids. We do everything we can to make sure they are happy and healthy. We often lose sight of what started it all, our love. Making time to enjoy each other is essential. Wether it’s date night, or just a quiet night on the couch.
Prepare for Winter
Winter is dark and depressing, honestly. It is not my most favorite time of year. I’m going to enjoy and mentally prepare for the dark ahead. Start taking care of my body, and my mental health. Do things for me, to make winter a little more bearable.
Get more organized
I can’t stand clutter! My goal this fall is to get more organized. That should always me my goal, but like I said, I hate winter. Hopefully being more organized will make me enjoy the winter months a little bit more!
Little changes can make a big difference. Hopefully my bucket list for fall will help me enjoy it just a little bit more!
Don’t get me wrong, my youngest girls bucket list sounds fun too!
It’s been tough not surrounding ourselves with the many people we love, but also trying to find things to keep our girls occupied!
I’m gonna share some of the things we’ve enjoyed doing.
Painting, modeling clay, slime making, bracelet making! You name it, we’ve done it! We love doing crafts, it’s been something the whole family can enjoy. Our favorite has been the clay, though. The girls love making little sculptures, and painting them. I’ve already gotten a few new jewelry dishes. 😉
Lots of Reading
Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? I know we have really enjoyed it. A lot of our summer reading is done outside in our hammocks. It’s our favorite spot to chill. My youngest (A) loves the Mercy Watson series, written by Kate DiCamillo. My oldest (C) loves The Never Girls series! I will read anything, but I’m a true die hard Twilight series fan. I know 🙈
I know what you’re thinking, video games?! Really?! But we honestly enjoy playing so many video games as a family. Minecraft is one of our all time favorites. We also enjoy all of the Super Mario games: Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Mario Party, etc. I also started getting the girls into Animal Crossing, although that’s not a multi player so we don’t play it often.
Sprinklers and pools were a huge part of our summer fun! Riding bikes, scooters, roller blading, swinging on the tree swing, playing fetch with the pups! So much fun stuff to do outside, and the fun is honestly endless when you’re outside. We also have a wooded area on our property which is fun for nature hikes and scavenger hunts! In September all the mushrooms around the yard pop up, and it’s fun to go around and identify some of them.
It’s definitely been an interesting year for us all. Trying to find things for the whole family to enjoy can be challenging.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas if you needed them! ❤️
Let’s chat about how to find 2 extra hours in your day! That is right, 2 extra hours! And you are going to be able to use that extra time to do all those amazing things you set out to do this week! These are 10 things that I do throughout the day that if you do a quick time audit, will easily save you 2 hours or more.
The #1 question I get asked is how do you fit in all the things. So I thought this would be a fun way to share.
STOP SCROLLING. Despite managing my business on social media, I am not online very much. I do it very strategically. I set aside time to connect on social media and then get off. And I do it in 20-50 minute increments. Otherwise, while I am working on other tasks my phone is in airplane mode! Crazy concept, I know. But it works. There are also a few browser apps that you can load that block you from social media sites after a certain amount of time. And most importantly, do not scroll first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed. Do you want others to influence the most important times of your day?
DO NOT HIT SNOOZE. Do not hit snooze. I repeat. Do not hit snooze. Snooze is the worst. And actually makes you MORE tired. (Because you aren’t getting into that deep restful sleep again). II know from prior experience this will save you 30-40 minutes alone! Go to bed the night before with intention. Map out what you want to do first thing in the morning and then do it! I heard a quote earlier this week that inconvenience exposes commitment. If you are committed as in truly dedicated. Snooze won’t be an issue. You gotta find something that makes you jump out of bed in the am!
SAY NO. UNLESS IT IS ONE OF YOUR TOP 3 PRIORITIES.Only say YES, to what is going to support your goals. My girls and I use this when it relates to healthy choices. All the time (eat your veggies). Cupcakes (sometimes). Netflix at 9pm? Maybe a sometimes task instead of all the time? See what I am saying? I talk about this a lot in my podcasts, but you should only pick 1-3 priorities a day. And sometimes even that is too much. If you know your priorities than it is way easier to say no to something that doesn’t support them.
As an example, on Friday nights we have a family movie night. So when a friend asks me to a girls night on the same night, I typically will say no, OR I will make adjustments so that movie night is on Saturday and my priorities are intact. Use your schedule to your advantage to help you make decisions.
SINGLE TASK WITH A SINGLE FOCUS. Don’t multi-task. This one is pretty straight forward, but the days of multi-tasking are over. Even if you are just focused on one thing for 10 minutes, you will get WAY more done in that 10 minutes than you will be doing 3 different things at one time.
I also use this to set boundaries. As an example. When I am in my office, my kids know that I am working, so, for the most part, they are aware that it isn’t time to ask me a million questions. When I am in the kitchen and trying to work as an example, they think I am available. So I try to focus my work time on one task in one area where I can knock it out and be done. It isn’t to say I don’t check my phone while in other areas, but when I am in “shared” areas, it isn’t my priority.
TIME BLOCK – You guys. I chat about this EVERY DAY. It works. And it works. I have a template in my WFH guide that is attached and also in my Systems Shop. You have to do it.
One thing I will add is to watch your energy levels with this. As an example, I come out the gate strong on Monday but I leave time for planning and strategizing. Tuesdays are almost interview and podcast days along with other meetings but by Friday. I try not to schedule meetings so I can “catch up”. I know I will be tired. And ready for a break. So don’t save your biggest task for Friday night! Just as your energy fluctuates throughout the day and week so does your attention.
I also almost always schedule a “maintenance” day, which is usually Friday or Saturday AM depending on the week. Clear out your inbox. Review your projects. Re-look at your to-do list. Do the laundry 🙂 Clean house. Organize. It helps. And sometimes is my most creative time. As a note, you don’t want to have your “maintenance day” on the same day you have 5 meetings.
In addition to time blocking you can also do a few fun things to motivate you to be super focused during the day by bookending your day. I pick the first two hours of the day to focus on my self-care and my VIP tasks as I call them. Don’t leave the hardest tasks for when you are the most unproductive. Then at the end of the day, I block out time for family and a least one hour before bed relax!
DON’T COMPARE. Your schedule isn’t going to look like anyone else’s. Just because I get up at 5am, doesn’t mean you need to. You have to play around with what works for you and when it feels good and you feel fulfilled, stick with it!
BLOCK TIME TO CHECK EMAILS. Only check email 1-2 times a day. This will probably save you an hour alone!! You want to say NO to busy work as much as possible. And if possible even automate repetitive tasks. As an example, when I have a new client sign up for our wellness package, I have a welcome email I send. I tweak it a little for each client but it is the same information. I don’t need to re-write it every time.
STOP EATING LIKE CRAP.Don’t eat sugar. Or at least limit it when you are trying to knock out some deadlines. Fuel your body with nutrients that are going to help you thrive!
SET ASIDE TIME FOR YOU! Reward yourself at the end of the day for working on those goals! (Or the beginning! Move your body. Meditate. Take a walk. Give yourself time to think! Your best ideas will come from this time and save you more time later!) And you know I am going to say this. But block off your calendar. Hit pause right now. Block out “ME TIME” for 30 minutes every day for the next month. See how it goes.
DO MORE WITH LESS. CLEAR YOUR SPACE. Work from a state of inspiration! Clean your desk. Go work in a coffee shop. Surround yourself with an environment that supports you!
Think about where you can outsource! I recently started a whiteboard in my office where I write down all the tasks weekly that I could outsource. Some of these are business tasks but some of them are basic tasks that you might not think of when you think to outsource….Outsourcing is really just saving you time!!!
Dry Cleaning pick-up
Meal kits / delivery
Outsourced Shopping (Such as Stitchfix or other services)
Proofreading (I use an app on my laptop)
Other apps that help with Time Management – Asana, Loop Habit Tracker, Trello, Calendly, Google Keep etc.
So tell me. Which one are you going to do this week? Or are you going to be a rockstar and do them all?
Sitting at dinner the other night, and we were talking about how fast this year has gone by.
It could be because of COVID, and most of our year was “wasted” by “quarantine” or simply because our littles aren’t so little anymore and they are growing SO fast!
It’s hard to sit back some time and REALLY enjoy these little moments.
I’m not going to lie, I had a mini breakdown last week. Full blown toddler tantrum…
I finally had some time off of work, to enjoy my 10 year wedding anniversary (holy shit, how has it been 10 years?!).
Day 1 of vacation and I start getting texts from work (I can’t get away from this place). I really wanted to get away for the big decade anniversary, but let’s face it, two kids and a global pandemic later, and no one has the time or money for that shit!
To top it all off, my kids we’re making me INSANE with their constant arguing and pestering about every… little… thing!!!
I finally broke down, and LITERALLY called my mama crying!
She talked me down, and we laughed and cried. Finally she asked me if I remembered going to my aunts house for the weekend every other month or so… because she too had the same moments I had. Every mom, or dad, NEEDS time to be an adult, and enjoy alone time wether it’s with a spouse or by yourself.
Then she said, get yourself a Starbucks (or whatever over priced coffee you like), get home, and get on with your day because you are going to remember the time spent with your family, more then you’ll remember this breakdown.
That women was so right! We had an AMAZING day exploring Frankenmuth, MI (see picture below)!
Then on our ACTUAL anniversary, we shipped the kids to my hubs mom’s house for the night, we ordered take out, and watched ALL the bad TV we could fit into the 16 hours we had ALONE!!!
It was HEAVENLY!
ANYWAYS, Back to my original thought about how FAST time is moving… I just wanted to share that story because it was raw and real, and it is not all sunshine and rainbows here!
I am in the trenches of motherhood. I am at war with myself because these are their most formative years, and I want to make sure they look back on their childhood and say, ‘wow, I was respectful and respected, but we also had a GREAT childhood.’
I’m definitely not one to give advice. You will not see me at any baby shower telling that new mama-to-be how she should only breastfeed, and use cloth diapers because it’s better for the environment, etc.
However, I’m passing along advice from my mama who raised 6 kids…
“Take time for yourself. It is one thing to be so in love with your child and do everything for the baby, but you have to not lose sight of yourself as a woman to balance out motherhood.”
Sounds simple right?!
But how many days have gone by since you’ve last taken care of YOU?!
Let’s just try harder. Every day is a new day for growth and opportunity.
You hear it all the time, “self care”, but do you really do it?!
WOW! How many cliches can I put into one blog?! 😂
But, thanks for hearing my heart! ❤️
Amanda (the boss bitch that keeps me motivated) and I, want to do a Q&A with all our readers! So if you have a question for us, leave it in the comments below!
We want to keep this page fun, but there is a big fat elephant in the room, and I’m here to talk about it and share my thoughts and feelings!
As you know, I am a mom to two amazing school aged daughters. My oldest is in the 4th grade, and my youngest is going into first. We love our school so much!
We had just gotten back from a spring break trip March 13. We had so much fun, but little did we know, we’d be coming home to pure chaos.
The night we got home, our Governor held a press conference stating she was shutting down our schools. What were we going to do with our two daughters while my husband and I work full time hours?!
If there’s a will, there’s a way.
A week after the schools shut down, my boss decided to shut down my work. It was scary, but also really great because we were able to focus on getting a routine established for “remote learning”. There were still SO many fears and concerns.
I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it, but it was rough. It was so new to the teachers, the students, and for most parents. We sort of had a good idea on what to expect as we had done online school for our oldest daughter in the past (that is another story for another time…).
Honestly, our girls did not handle the shut down well. At. All. For the first few weeks, there was little to no routine.
My oldest hates school. She is so smart, and she knows it. However, that doesn’t mean school comes easy to her on all subjects. She loves using the computer, and prefers learning through apps, and online videos and instruction. She was THRIVING once we figure out what apps were “OK’d” by her teacher and the school. Getting her to sit down and read, was a challenge, but she loved having books read to her via Audible. (That was a Godsend.)
Now, my youngest is completely opposite. She loves sitting down in her bean bag chair with her books, and journals. She loves using flash cards and doing her work sheets. The online stuff was cool, because it was a little more interactive, but she definitely is a pencil and paper kind of learner.
By the end of the school year, we had established that we were going to keep our girls learning, but we did it in our own way. We used materials given to us as a guide, but really built our own methods.
SO, Summer is wrapping up here this month, and that leaves us with a HUGE decision. What in the H-E-L-L are we going to do about the 20-21 school year?!
Who the hell knows!
As of right now, we are definitely leaning towards online learning. It will be hard to find a balance, between work, school and home life, but I truly feel in my heart, this will be in the best interest for my family.
I know my daughters more then anyone else, and I know they did NOT do well with the shut down. It took a lot of persistence to get my kids going on a good schedule. There was a lot of yelling and tears, not going to lie!
I know that if I can get my kids on a good schedule right at the beginning of the year, it will make having another “shut-down” a lot easier IF we end up having one. If not, and COVID “goes away” then we won’t be behind, and my kids can jump right back into the school year in the classroom in January.
I understand there are A LOT of different opinions about school, and COVID. I’m not trying to make a political statement by any means. I’m truly doing what I feel is best for my family during these unprecedented times. No one understands what we are facing, and no one is making a right or wrong decision wether you are doing virtual, or not.
Amanda and I truly appreciate all of our followers, and we hope you enjoy our blog!
Thank you so much for reading, and if you feel like throwing your opinions in the comments, by all means, please do!
Next week, I’ll keep things a little more light and fun! 😉