Mommy Time: Carving out Time for Yourself by Sticking to a Schedule

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As we celebrate all amazing moms everywhere, this post is just in time for all of those wonderful ladies to allow themselves some relaxation and “me time” today and beyond.  Moms are natural multitaskers with a laundry lists of to-do’s to complete on a daily basis. We’re glad to do it and are proud of our families and each role we play, however, quite frequently we get burnt out and forget to give ourselves a little self-care.  Not to worry, journey with me below for tips to organize your day so that you are able to carve out some time to for you in your schedule on a daily basis.

What is the culprit of being burnt out and overwhelmed? Many times these feelings surface when we feel there is so much to be done and never enough time to fit it all in. Not far behind those feelings, are their cousins – exhaustion and frustration. Let’s avoid all of the above. Here are 5 tips to help you organize your day and to feel accomplished and fulfilled at the end of it.

TIP 1: Don’t Overcrowd Your Daily Schedule

It is easy to get in the habit of wanting to knock down as many tasks off your list as possible and to try to cram in as much as you can in the time you have available each day. Please, avoid this urge. You may accomplish many tasks but will exert all of your energy by the end of the day and won’t have much to give to you or your family, as a result. Create a routine schedule for yourself, with points to accomplish on a daily basis. Jot it down and post it in a place where you’ll view it daily. Allot time for each tasks, making sure to include time for yourself in that agenda. If you have to forgo some tasks to make sure you fit on your schedule, prioritize your tasks and push ones that aren’t most pressing to the next day. DO NOT forgo time for yourself to fit more tasks in.

TIP 2: Write a List of Fun/Relaxing Activities You’d Like to Do Yourself

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While assigning time to each task you plan to complete each day, assign time for completing fun or relaxing things you would like to do. If you’d like to get a 20-minute workout in every morning, wake up 25 to 30 minutes ahead of your schedule to get that in. It’s great to work out in the mornings because it helps to jump start your day and boosts your energy.

Also, write a list of 50 things you would like to do and pull from that list daily. Feel free to repeat your favorites. If you are working from home or are commuting to your job each day, schedule time in for a quick breakfast and time for reflection and inspiration. If you don’t have much time to spare, prepare easy breakfast meals that you can grab and go on a regular basis and read audible books, teachings, music and more during your commute or time to get ready.

TIP 3: Set Bedtime and Nap Time (for Working From Home Moms) Daily

If you are working from home or are a stay-at-home mom, set a time in your schedule daily for your kids to take a nap.  It is essential for children, especially toddlers, to have at least 10 hours of rest each day. Nap time is quality time for kids to recharge and will help them tackle more tasks successfully if they’re being home-schooled and are required to complete chores. Always allow time for organized play or outside activities so they enjoy each day and won’t get burnt out, as well.  As an added bonus, you can enjoy this time to yourself and either use this time to complete a “me time” task on your list, get some rest, or tackle a project that requires your undivided attention.

Also, set a time every evening for the kids’ bedtime. Stick to this time every night.  This is a beautiful family moment in your day where you, your spouse and your children can pray together and read one of your children’s favorite books. pray

Once the kiddos are in bed, tackle more from your list of things you want to do. That list may include sharing a glass of wine and watching a movie with your spouse, painting your nails, reading a book, calling your bestie to catch up, and more.

TIP 4: Eat a Balanced Diet and Drink Plenty of Water

It is easy as a mom on-the-go to forget simple things like taking your vitamins, drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily, oh and definitively answering whether or not you had your fruit and veggies today. We make sure our children have had all that they need daily and then forget to do this for ourselves. As you’re reminding your children of these things go ahead and do the same for you at that moment, as well.

Tip 5: Create a Daily Lesson Plan to Follow for Homeschooling Kids

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One of the most beneficial steps in learning a routine that worked for my son and I was creating a lesson plan from the very beginning. Having a plan in place gave my son structure and helped me to be mindful to cover subject matters that he needed to complete by the end of the school term.  The routine also became one that my son would rely on and he would wake up asking me when we were going to get started on certain activities he loved! This is a huge win for a mom of a preschooler.

If your lessons are fun for your children they won’t put up a resistance, which makes teaching them a lot easier for you. If you are working during this time, as well, make sure these fun learning tasks are ones that your child can complete on their own. That way you can complete your work and just check in on them from time to time. Also, having a lesson plan helps you to stay on schedule, spending only a set amount of time on each tasks. With this in place you can carve out time for you and you will feel accomplished at the end of the day.

Tip 6: Create a Gratitude and Reflection Journal to Visit Daily

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Writing is truly therapeutic and allows you to release your feelings and emotions.  Whatever your mood is each day, make sure to jot it down. Each day should also include reflection on what you are grateful and thankful for. When you’re not feeling your best, you can look to your gratitude journal for inspiration and reflection.

Also, try on a repetitive basis to do something nice for someone else. It doesn’t matter how small or grand the task is. It is funny how amazing you feel when you have helped to put a smile on someone else’s face. While we’re spending more time at home these days, there’s more time to connect with our family and friends. Give a call, send a text, or message loved ones you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. Also, send a small flower or edible arrangement to a senior or essential worker you know. These small gestures will brighten others’ days and boost your mood, as well.

Have an awesome Mother’s Day moms and you truly rock!! Stay tuned for more content and please follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

 

Healthy Meal Tips Achieved by Raiding Your Kitchen While Staying at Home

2020 has turned out to be an unprecedented year as we’re staying at home during the wake of the current pandemic.  It is heartbreaking to think of the number of lives that have been lost across the globe, those who have been affected in some way – whether battling the illness, a front-line worker, and all who are pitching in to give back in some way, as well as, how life as we know it has changed for the unforeseeable future. Our current plight seems daunting.

Whatever your circumstance is at this very moment, know that your life has meaning and purpose, and we all can be of service in some way to help uplift the next person. I watch my husband brave the unknown daily with faith, prayer, and preparation.  He’s an essential worker as the owner and operator of an electrical business.  I am a stay-at-home mom to a toddler.  In these last five weeks, I have experienced the pressures of juggling being a supporter/prayer partner to my husband, a teacher/cheerleader to my child, manage our digital efforts for the business, seek to get started again with this blog, as well as, cooking, cleaning, and everything else we moms do!  It is my prayer that we all come through this experience stronger, wiser and more resilient than ever.

During this past five weeks, I have come to rely on prep meals and kitchen pantry/refrigerator raids to deliver food options that I know my family will love and won’t require us to make multiple trips to the grocery store. We’re all trying to limit as many trips outside of our homes as possible. Journey with me below as I share one of my favorite meatball meals, saucy meatball soup, for dinner and a dessert I call “use what you have on hand” strawberry shortcake!

SAUCY MEATBALL SOUP – Delish!

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Just add water and your fave herbs! This soup is delicious!

If you keep bags of meatballs as a favorite in your freezer, you know that there are several dishes that you can make quickly, don’t require much effort, are affordable, and can be done in 20 minutes or less.  For this recipe you will need  a couple of bags of meatballs, stewed tomatoes, cut broccoli, as well as, chopped/sliced green, yellow, and red peppers, onions, 1 cup of water and your favorite seasonings! That’s it! Just dump all in the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes. If you’d like to jazz it up, add peeled shrimp to the soup at the last 5 minutes of simmering and replace half of the cup of water with Italian dressing. Either way is um-um good! You can also make a pot of rice if you’d like to add a starch, as well. Just add the soup over rice when plating it.

RECIPE –

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Ingredients:
(2) 2 1b bags of turkey meatballs (any kind you have will do)
(2) cans of stewed tomatoes
(2) 12 oz bags of broccoli
1/2 cup each of chopped green, yellow and red peppers
1/2 cup each of chopped onions
1 cup of water (or 1/2 cup of water & half a cup of Italian dressing)
1 tsp season salt or 1 packet of Sazon Goya Seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp butter
2 cups of white or brown rice  (optional)

Directions:
Add one teaspoon of butter to a large pot along with your meatballs. Turn your heat slightly below medium. Let that cook for 5 minutes then throw in your chopped peppers and onions. Saute your vegetables until they are soft, then add your stewed tomatoes and broccoli.  Add a cup of water to thin the soup a bit.  Now throw in all of your favorite seasonings, let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes and enjoy!

Now let’s move on to my favorite meal of the day, dessert! Can I get a YAY for dessert! Ok, don’t mind me, lol. This “use what you have” strawberry shortcake is delicious, and besides the strawberry mixture, requires simple ingredients I’m sure you already have.

USE WHAT YOU HAVE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

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For this dish, I made two individual versions in 8 qt containers. That way, I could try different flavor versions and freeze some for later.  All you will need for this dessert is a box of white/angel food cake mix or a box/bag of your favorite cookies (i.e. shortbread, graham cracker, pecan shortbread, and more), frozen strawberry topping or fresh strawberries and glaze, whipped topping, vanilla pudding cups and ground cinnamon. That’s it! You can also switch things up a bit by using other fruit toppings instead like blueberry, cherry, raspberry or blackberry and add alternating layers of that fruit type of preserve. Just layer in your ingredients and refrigerate for a couple of hours. It’s super simple.

RECIPE –

strawberry shortcake

Ingredients (8 quart container size):
1/2 a box of white or angel food cake mix
8 oz container of whipped topping
2 packaged cups of sugar free vanilla pudding
1 container of sliced frozen strawberries in sugar or 1 quart of sliced strawberries mixed with strawberry glaze
8 oz container of original whipped topping (not fat-free or reduced fat)
1 graham cracker (crush all 4 pieces and sprinkle over the top)
Cinnamon (sprinkle as much as you like on the top)

Directions:

Bake your box cake mix according to the instructions and make two layers. Set aside and let cool.  Add whipped topping to a medium size mixing bowl. Fold in vanilla pudding and set aside.  If you’re using fresh strawberries, slice them and add to another medium-sized mixing bowl and fold in strawberry glaze. Otherwise thaw your frozen strawberries in sugar.

Once cool, cut one cake layer into cubes and freeze the other layer unless you’re making an additional 8 oz tub shortcake. Cover the bottom of your container with some of the cake cubes, top with a 1/3 of your strawberry mix, and add a 1/4 of your pudding mix.  Add two more layers of each and top with the 4th pudding mix layer. Top that layer with the crushed graham crackers and sprinkle cinnamon over that to finish the dish. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and enjoy!

If you decide to try one of these dishes please share what you think and post pics! I’d love to hear from you. I have not been paid by any brand and don’t endorse one brand over the other. I’m sure that any that you have on hand will be amazing!

Have an awesome day and come back soon!

 

Wellness Check: Become More Productive with a Clear Mind and Daily Outlook

4k-wallpaper-blur-blurry-1673973.jpgDo you often find that as soon as you arise in the mornings and your feet hit the floor, your thoughts are flooded with what you have to do that day or ideas for projects you’re working on. As tempting as it is to just jump right into working, DON’T DO IT.  Set boundaries in your life for the hours you will work and the hours you will reserve for rest, reflection and time with those you hold dear. There is a good reason why those thoughts flood our minds first thing in the morning. You are rested and recharged, which allows your brain to reboot. Your thoughts are clearer and you can now easily process ideas and apply them to your projects.

Again, I challenge you to not jump into work mode. Leave a notepad and pin on your nightstand and jot down pointers to help you remember those thoughts when you’re ready to get to work and then return back to sleep or proceed with your morning routine.  I say this because it is so important not to get in the habit of working around the clock. You will find that the lack of boundaries puts your mind in work mode for the duration and your sleep may be affected, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and frustrated a lot more, and eventually it may also affect the quality of your work and your level of productivity.

To start your day right, make sure to establish a routine that you can rely and depend on. This will help you to feel refreshed in the mornings, will help you better organize your day, and feel more accomplished at the end of the day.

It is my goal to start my day with God every morning and to get some exercise in. This includes prayer, meditation on God’s Word, reading an inspirational book or watching a recorded sermon I’ve saved on my DVR, and getting in 25 to 30 minutes on my stationary bike.

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It is also so important to establish wellness habits daily. Here is a sample goal list for inspiration.

Wellness Goals:

  •  Start your day with inspiration and exercise.
  •  Drink two full glasses of water first thing in the morning.
  •  Drink 32 ounces of water or a combination of water, tea and juice while at work.
  •  Drink 16 ounces of water at home.
  •  Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  •  Get 8 full hours of sleep daily.

Also, set clear boundaries for yourself and stick to it.  Here are a few examples of boundaries I have set for myself to give you an idea.

Work/Life Balance:

  •  Work of any kind ceases at 8 PM and will not begin before 6 AM.
  •  No screen time, unless watching a movie or show with my husband, after 10 PM.
  •  My children get washed up, are read a book, and are in the bed by 9 PM.
  •  Sundays are off limits. This is a work-free day and time for me, family and friends.
  •  Prep the following week’s meals on Saturday from 10 -12 PM and place in the freezer.
  •  Complete housework and chores on Wednesdays and Saturdays ONLY.
  •  Work only in the window of 6 – 8 AM on Saturdays. This depends on your internal clock. I typically wake up at 5:30 AM to get ready for work Monday – Friday. I automatically wake up at that time every morning, even on the weekends.

With your goals in place and boundaries set, you will start to see the difference in how you feel and how these simple changes affect every area of your life immediately. I hope this provides you with a little inspiration and I wish you a blissful week and good vibes from here on out! Have a great day and please like, follow and share this post.

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