7 Things Every Parent Should Know

7 Things Every Parent Should Know - www.stage-presents.com

  1.  Every child is different.  I think sometimes we base our parenting styles and decisions on how things worked the first time around, or how our parent’s raised us. I have three children and they couldn’t be more different.  Growing up, I remember thinking that my sister had it so much easier, because I had already gone through all of the hard things.  And, that my mom favored her over me, which.. well I am still not sure that isn’t entirely true, lol.  But… now that I have children of my own I know that what worked for one of them wouldn’t necessarily work for the other.
  2. There is no such thing as the perfect parent.  Even though it is what we all aspire to be, we would save ourselves so much time right out of the gate, by acknowledging from the very beginning that we are human, and therefore flawed. There will be times when you have to say you are sorry.  You will not always be right.  You are charged with shaping these little lives that have been entrusted to you, but try as you might you can’t mold them into your own image.  (Trust me I’ve tried, lol)
  3. Quality and Quantity.  I know you probably thought I was going to say  Quality over Quantity.  But Nope.  Here’s is my reasoning you are probably never going to be able to please everyone see #1.  And, even though you will most likely try to find things that everyone is interested in and or try to give them as much one on one time, as possible.  That simply may not be the way that they remember it.  So do you best to spend as much time as you can, whenever you can.  And hope that it is enough.
  4. Routine. Routine is the key to any well oiled machine.  Bed times, chores, expectations, etc.  As I mentioned before, I thought my parents were too strict.  But, the thing about it is that looking back I see now that knowing what was expected of me and how I was to conduct myself played a large part in shaping me.  I can see now that a lot of the heartache that my friends went through I was lucky enough not to have experienced, because I simply didn’t live that life.
  5. Enjoy it.  I will be the first one to tell you that parenthood is NO WALK IN THE PARK.   You love your babies and you can’t imagine life without them.  But, sometimes you do.  You imagine what it would be like to pull your hands through you hair, throw on some bright red lipstick and skinny jeans and just jump in the car heading off to God knows where and for God knows what reason.  But, you know those days are over.  So once you are back from your pity party.  Make sure to enjoy these days.  One day you will miss it.  Since my oldest is 20 and my youngest is 6, I have a unique vantage point.  I can see the other side while still in the trenches.
  6. Document your days.  This is a controversial one for some people, because if you are snapping pictures then maybe you aren’t present.  I guess I have mixed feelings about this, because I see things from behind a lens that I am not sure I would notice otherwise.  Or maybe it’s that the things that I see make me want to pull out my camera to preserve the memory.  Like taking my daughters to the beach last year, and watching their faces so go from fear, to fun, to frolicking.  It was amazing to sit there and watch them grow before my eyes.  To me, it’s equally amazing to look back on those pictures and remember that day with joy in my heart.  I think I have always taken a lot of pictures, but when my son was little there were no iPhone’s and such, so there are way less pics of him than of the girls, and it is one of my biggest regrets.
  7. We Time and Me Time are a necessity.  Before they came, it was just the two of you.  And, before you became the two of you, it was just you.  Every relationship needs cultivation, even the ones we have with ourselves.  And, I believe this with all my heart.  If you are depleted at some time in some way, it is going to come out.  I am lucky enough to have my parents close by and when I need a break they are more than happy to afford us that luxury.  But, even if you don’t have a support system close by, little things mean a lot.  Can you both get off work for a couple of hours while the kids are at school, for lunch or for a movie or both?  Can you schedule a babysitter, and make a night of it?  Or maybe you just need the peace and quiet, or solitude of a massage, or mani-pedi appointment.  Figure out what feeds your spirit and your soul and do that, make time for that.

“TODAY’S LITTLE MOMENTS,  BECOME TOMORROW’S PRECIOUS MEMORIES.”

End of Year Review

2016-a-year-in-review

It is the last day of 2016, and I for one am glad to see it go.  2016 has been the most tumultuous year I have experienced in my 40 years.  It has literally been filled with the lowest lows and the highest highs,  a perpetual roller coaster of emotions, blessings and disappointments.

We entered into 2017 full of hope and vision.  And, as seems to be the norm at this stage of my life the days quickly turn into months and the months into years.  This is something that most Moms tend to be cognizant of as you watch your babies speed through their younger years. And, believe it or not with a business it is not much different.  I sit back a little awe struck at times, as I watch it develop in new ways.  The most minute changes can garner the most significant rewards.

On the Business/Blog Side of Things:

We started off the new year by re-branding.  Even though we loved our original logo, we wanted a new logo that we felt represented where we were going as a company. I assume that this can be a fairly easy project for larger companies who hire out this type of work.  But, we decided to do it ourselves, or I should say my hubby did it.  And, since we both have the perfectionist gene getting on the same wave length was a bit harder than we thought.  But, ultimately we were both pleased with the finished product.

TheStagepresentsBlog got its own Instagram Page. Having another account separate from the one we already had for our Etsy Store allowed me to share more of myself, my family and my daily life with all my Stage Presents friends.  It also gave me a chance to connect with other like minded bloggers.

Our Etsy Store hit 400 + Sales and officially passed the 3 year mark.

Our Back to School Binder Covers went viral.

Increased our Social Media presence and Developed relationships with other bloggers

Collaborated with other bloggers to present the Friday Favorites Linky Party.

We had some amazing Guest Bloggers.

2016-highlights

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles BukowskiFactotum

On the Personal side of Things:

Life dealt more blows than I would like to remember in 2016.  Only months into the New Year, my toddler niece got very sick and passed away.  It is something that I honestly don’t know if I will ever truly understand. The only thing worst than experiencing that loss, was watching my baby sister go through it.  As a big sister, you never want to think that there is something that you just can not help your younger sister with or through.  But, I had to accept that this was something that we could only call on God to help and heal.   Then some months later, I had a health scare that consisted of  a spider bite and my blood sugar being way too high, that landed me in the hospital.  Though terrifying, it turned out to be exactly what I needed to get my act together as far as eating what I should eat, instead of what I wanted to eat.  This year, I also started subbing at the School System for longer periods of time.  I got a quick refresher course on just what a balancing  act it was to work full time hours and still juggle being Mommy and Wife, Blogger, Etsy Shop Owner, Cook, Taxi…  The flip side to that was being able to do more of the things we wanted to do as a family with more money coming into the household, and having a little more to invest back into our business.

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
― John SteinbeckThe Winter of Our Discontent

The pain makes us change. The change makes us grow, and finally the growth makes us strong.

FOR WHATEVER REASON, THESE BOOKS HELPED ME OUT THIS YEAR.

Favorite Books:

Why We Can’t Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Fervent by Priscilla Shirer

Make it Happen by Lara Casey

2016 has been a year of growth for the business and for the blog and it is with bated breath that I wait to take in all that 2017 has to offer.  We are humbled by the support of our readers, our customers, and our community.  We acknowledge that without you we couldn’t have come this far.  As we end this year, and venture into the new one keep these words in mind.

THROUGH ADVERSITY, NOT ONLY ARE WE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER OUR INNER STRENGTH, WE ARE ALSO GIVEN THE  GIFT OF FORESIGHT SO WE CAN SHINE A LIGHT FOR OTHERS WHO GO THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE AFTER US. — RACHAEL BERMINGHAM

Maintaining Order

maintaining-order-host-image When Sheree reached out to me to be a guest blogger, I was excited because I love to talk about organization and can talk about it for hours. I hope that the tips I provide for you today resonate with you enough to make real change within your space or home and most importantly to be intentional behind the act.

Recently, I completed an Instagram organizing challenge to motivate individuals to let go of items so that they could organize specific areas for 15 minutes. But Instagram only provides a limited amount of space to share content so I thought this would be the perfect time to expound on those tips plus more. Now you may be thinking, that it’s not possible to get organized within 15 minutes but it is! After you purge items, you feel lighter and motivated to continue organizing and that was the ultimate goal of the 15 minute organizing challenge. The challenge also shed light on the areas that tend to be overlooked when it comes to organizing and items that no longer serve a purpose.

I totally understand that we are busy, busy people who are juggling a lot – work, school, family, personal relationships and most importantly the relationship with ourselves. But through it all we have to maintain order to make it through our daily routines. So, I wanted to share four items and spaces that you can purge and then organize – restoring order to your home or space that will make you feel lighter and serve as motivation to organize more thoroughly.

Purging

About two weeks ago, I was helping my client purge through their items which isn’t the most favorite thing to do when it comes to organizing but it’s so necessary. It doesn’t make sense to continue to throw items from one box to the next and call it organizing because it isn’t. Purging and letting go of items an essential step that must be done before organizing. So, as we’re sorting through their personal items, I could notice a shift in their movement because they started to quickly identify items that they no longer needed and deemed suitable to purge. Afterwards, they said, “I feel so much lighter – like I was shedding so many layers” and that right there was music to my ears. I try to teach my clients that they have the power over their belongings and not the other way around. It’s ok to purge items that are no longer purposeful. But then the million dollar statement arises, “but this was a gift!” Well, I’m sure the person who gifted you the item intended for you to find the item purposeful and not have the gift collect dust in a box or a closet. This is why it’s important to purge and purging for 15 minutes is a great way to build up momentum and then prompt you to organize because you feel lighter and motivated afterwards.

Here are items and areas that I suggest purging for 15 minutes:

Car Trunk

Many times we throw items inside the trunk of our car only to say, “I will come back and get that later” and unfortunately, later turns into never. Have you ever opened your trunk only to say, “oh that’s where that was – I’ve been looking for that” or have had to push things out of the way to make room for what really belongs in the trunk? Then a purge is needed. I suggest going through the trunk of your car and identify items that truly belong in the trunk, items that need to be discarded and items that need to be stored in another designated space. Once you purge then I suggest, getting a trunk organizer which can prevent clutter from forming again because there are spaces to store items. I purchased mine from The Container Store and I never have to worry about a junky car trunk. The trunk should have items that you need to access for emergencies like:

-jumper cables

-blanket and water

-first aid kit

-tools

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Photo Source: The Container Store

Pens & Markers

I recently purged a cup that I was using to store pens and markers. When I was watching television and relaxing, I took a blank piece of paper and dribbled on the paper with each pen and marker. This task literally took me anywhere between 7-10 minutes to determine which ones were still functional and which ones were not – threw away the dried up pens and markers and kept the ones that still worked. Simple! I felt lighter and didn’t miss a beat of relaxing and watching television. A simple purging task like this one, can leave you feeling accomplished. Remember purging doesn’t always have to be viewed as being overwhelming because as you can see, even the smallest of items like a cup holding writing tools can build up. I encourage you to go through those pens and markers and purge! And let’s be honest, how many times have you experiences reaching for a pen or marker only to discover that it has dried up and then you have to search through for one that works? You just wasted a solid 5 minutes right there so purging and then organizing those pens and markers will save you time in the end. Save yourself the hassle.

Make Up /Nail Polish

As a woman, I absolutely love dressing up and going out with my friends for a girls night out. We all know that presentation is everything so besides selecting an outfit adorning your face with makeup is also a part of completing the look. But just like the cup of pens and markers, you can experience make-up clutter as well. Have you ever been dressed up and ready to head out and went to put on your favorite lipstick but only to discover that it’s barely any left? Now, I don’t mean to be dramatic but that’s a disappointing feeling to look forward to using something and it not be there. This could have easily been resolved if the make-up was purged, allowing you to take inventory of what you need to re-stock up on and what needs to be thrown out. So go through your make-up and determine what’s essential to hold onto and what can be discarded. Our make-up can definitely accumulate at a quick pace and get out of control and I also believe it’s overlooked when it comes to organizing. Once you have purged and organized the make-up you intend to keep then consider using acrylic organizers. I have one for my make-up and one for my nail polish. It’s a great way to contain your items in a chic but organized manner and your make-up is easily accessible.

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Photo Source: Target

Photo Source: Target

 

Photo Credit: SoleOrganizer

Kids Play Room

The playroom for the kids is just that a room for the kids to let loose and have fun. But as time goes on, the toys begin to overflow from the safety of the storage bins which is a clear indicator that a purge must take place. So, take time to purge through the toys and determine if there are toys that are broken, toys that the kids don’t play with as much and which toys they still find enjoyable. Now it may be hard to let go because of sentimental value but consider donating to other children who aren’t as fortunate. We have to do away with the mentality of holding onto items that aren’t useful and kids are always on to the next best thing.

These purging tasks are meant to de-clutter your space and restore order. But you will also “shed layers” as my client said which will make you feel lighter. You’re letting go of unnecessary items to make room for things that are purposeful and needed. When you purge and then organize, you are creating a foundation which should be solid and should last which is why 15 minutes of purging then organizing to is a great reminder.

I would love to hear about it how lighter you feel after purging! If you need some guidance, I have created a purging checklist to guide you through the purging process which can be downloaded here. Be sure to head to the website to get access to the “Soleful Resource Library” which contains printables + checklists to help you stay on task and organized. Remember that, “being organized is a lifestyle and not a chore”.

You can also find Sole Organizer Here:

Instagram

LinkedIn

Pinterest

Twitter

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT SOLEORGANIZER

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SoleOrganizer offers a functional and creative approach to organizing for individuals who are ready to get organized but most importantly stay organized. Nowadays it has become more frequent. to not be able to enjoy the things we once did or even just have the time to relax because our spaces are consumed by clutter.

SoleOrganizer teaches individuals how to restore order back to their lives by educating individuals on letting go of the non-essential items and implement functional systems that will acquire simplicity.

Decorate Your Planner with these FREE “Boss Lady” Planner Stickers

Free Boss Lady Planner Stickers found on stage-presents.com

As you all know, I am still a “newbie” to creating my own planner stickers.  If you are a planner enthusiast like myself, chances are you have spent your fair share of “coin” on Planner Stickers.  And, I am OK with that because they were worth every penny.  But, in addition to that I have also found a lot of great Free Printables all over Pinterest.  I am always looking for an opportunity to try my hand at new things.  So here are my “Boss Lady” Planner Stickers.  Jazz your planner pages up with these super cute stickers.  I have tried them out on my Horizontal Erin Condren Life Planner™ and they fit.  Check my personal Planner Pretties board on Pinterest for more “freebies”.   For a Peek Inside My Planner and too see my first attempt at planner stickers check them out here.

Free Boss Lady Planner Stickers found on stage-presents.com

I know that a lot of people are using the Cricut and the Silhouette to cut their stickers.  I have not progressed that far as yet.  But, I do own a Cricut, so its definitely on my Summer To Master List.  I am still using the Avery White Full-Sheet Labels for InkJet Printers.  They come in a Pack of 25 Sheets.  And, the Avery Label Number is 8165.  So go ahead Download  – Print – Cut  and Stick.  I would love to see how you end up using them in your own planners.  So if you do, take a picture and tag #thestagepresentsblog on Instagram. Free Boss Lady Planner Stickers found on stage-presents.com

I hope that you enjoy these, I enjoyed making them.  Happy Planning!!

Taking the Stress Out of Moving Day…

Taking the Stress Out of Moving Day originally found on stage-presents.com

SOME tips for making moving day run smoother

  1. Whenever possible, DO NOT MOVE on the 1st of the month.  If you are renting your own van or truck, this is the busiest time for truck rental companies.  The supply runs out quickly and even with a reservation some companies overbook and will not honor your reservation.  If you are hiring a moving company, and you must move on the 1st,  make sure to book them as far in advance as possible.
  2. If time is not a factor, do the packing yourself.  Movers tend to charge by the hour.  This will cut down on what you have to pay them and save you some “coins” for all the little things that you will most likely have to purchase for your new space.
  3. LABEL LABEL LABEL …. LIST LIST LIST…  Obviously you need to keep like items or things that go in the same room together.  But, in addition to that consider color coding and thinking all the way through to the unpacking process.  For example, if you have shoes and clothes that are not for the present season, you want them in your bedroom.  But, they are not your priority when it’s time to unpack.  It’s more than likely that the things you packed last are the items that you use more often.  So you need to be able to put your hands on those things first.   For me that would be, the coffee maker, the K-Cups, Forks, Knives, Plates and a Go-To Pot or Two.  Aside from putting the beds down and getting sheets and towels, the kitchen is almost always the first room that get’s unpacked.
  4. Move as many of your packed belongings to the door closest to where the movers will be entering and exiting the house.  I don’t expect you to try to move big furniture pieces but at the very least move your boxes.  This one is tried and true.  Day laborers tend to lolly gag.  I don’t have time to pay you to talk to your coworkers about little Timmy’s Soccer Game.  If there is ever a time to micro manage this is the time.  Time is Money!!
  5. Use bubble wrap, newspaper and packing peanuts to protect your delicate/breakable objects.   Even if the item is not dropped it can be crushed. If money is not an object most Storage Rental Facilities make boxes now specifically for your dishes, glasses, etc.  Bottom line is no one is going to take care of your things like you.  And Grammy’s China might mean the world to you, but… maybe not to Joe Schmo The Moving Guy.  I’m just saying.
  6. Take date and time stamped photos of your most prized possessions.  This will assist in settling disputes if your property is damaged and or stolen.
  7. Always get the insurance. Insurance for the Truck if you are doing it yourself.    And, if you are hiring your own mover’s make sure they are both licensed and bonded and able to reimburse you if the worst happens.  In this the day of Google, there is no excuse for not planning and preparing.  Check the BBB and look for references/reviews and complaints.  Then make an informed decision.
  8. I always say that you get what you pay for.  But, there seems to always be a Moving Company on Groupon or Living Social these days.  If you are going to go that route  READ THE FINE PRINT.

So there you have it,  Happy Planning and Happy Moving Day!!

“IT WASN’T RAINING WHEN NOAH BUILT THE ARK.” –HOWARD HUFF.

Spring Break – Perfect in It’s Imperfection

our “perfect yet not so perfect” spring break

Recap of Spring Break 2016 - www.stage-presents.com

Spring Break is over and things are getting back to normal around here.  I have been out of pocket for a few days, that normally happens over extended breaks.  The blog and the business run around my family life and not visa versa.  Last week was Spring Break, so I spent as much time as I could hanging out with my little ones.   I am always trying to teach my kids lessons that I am still learning and yes,  I know just how hypocritical that sounds. But, I guess it’s in hopes that by teaching the lesson, they  will avoid some of the same mistakes that I have made in my own life.  One of the things that I am always telling them is that they have to roll with the punches or that certain things are beyond their control and they are.  But, it is a lesson that I struggled hard with and for a  long time.  My mom always tells me that God will keep teaching me to be patient and understanding until I am both.  Spring Break was an exercise in just that.

Our trip to Florida for Spring Break was great!! But, I am not sure that you would have agreed taking it at face value.  I have been back and forth to Florida three times in less than 30 days.  Now, my sister lives there, but that has never happened before.  As I am sure you remember me saying in my last post, we lost my sweet niece on the 15th.  So, I went down when she was sick and was there when she passed.  I went back for the service and then I returned for Spring Break and to physically lay eyes on my sister.  Saying this to say there was a melancholy under tone to our trip, but we were determined to make some good memories, in spite of it.

The first night there we had date night.  We left all the kids with the nanny, and we went out and enjoyed some grown up time.  It was great to spend some time with my sister and her hubby that was just light and fun.  The next day we took the kids  to the Central Orlando zoo.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that outdoors and heat are not my thing, but the kids had a ball.  The highlight of the trip was to be our trip to the beach.  After all nothing says Spring Break like the beach.  On the day of the beach trip it was COLD… Yes, I said cold in Florida.  But, we went anyway thinking that maybe the weather would warm up.  When we arrived at the beach, the tides were so high that they actually closed the entrance to drive on to the beach.  After circling around we we were able to get in, and when we got on the beach and out of the car the wind was so fierce and sand was blowing everywhere.  So we had to vacate.  Talk about three disappointed girls, yes I said 3 because I included myself.  So pouts and all we packed back into the truck and headed to go get something to eat.  The plan was that we would eat and stay in the area for a while in hopes for a change in the weather.  But, the change never came so we ventured back to my sisters house.  On the way back, we decided that since they were already dressed to get wet we would take them to the “Splash Park” not too far from where we were.  By that time it was getting warmer, and though a little apprehensive at first, with each splash the beach became a distant memory and we once again in their good graces.

Since we paid for admission to the beach, hubby and I managed to escape back there later in the day, the kids stayed with my sissy and we got to have some one on one time.  I will consider that her anniversary gift to me this year.  Yesterday made 7 years since I married this man.  And, still just a couple of hours alone with him ALWAYS refresh my soul.  Even when I don’t feel like I need it.  So Shout out to him today + this was the first year that he was able to take off the entire week to spend with us.  Another Spring Break survived and enjoyed and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (P.S. – I know there were no pictures of me.  But, you know how that it is, I am always the one behind the camera. #mommylife)

Time Spent with Family Quote - stage-presents.com

What did you do to celebrate Spring Break this year?  Feel like sharing, we would love to hear your story in the comment section below.

Check out Our Previous Spring Break Shenanigans Here.

Planning Your Own Way

Planning Your Own Way

Hi, I’m Sheree and I am a planner/list addict.  As if you didn’t already know that.  I have owned almost ever planner known to man.  The Franklin Covey, The Day Planner, Student Planners, Mead Planners, Goal Planners. Financial/Budget Planners, you name it, I’ve had it.  In the past, planners have strictly been for organizing and scheduling your day.  There was no glitzy, preppy, girly element to it.  But, let me tell you, things have changed.  The planner craze has taken over and with it has come the need to make it look good and feel good(embellishments).  For some, the planner has replaced the Family Control Center, as a way to plan out their lives in one portable location.  I personally have a planner that I use for my Household/Mommy/Wife Life and another one I use for this blog and my Etsy business.  But, I am the person that needs to compartmentalize everything, each thing must be in its individual box.

This year I purchased my very first Erin Condren Life Planner with the Horizontal Weekly Layout.  I had a pretty lengthy list of all the planners that I was interested in and after much deliberation I chose this one for my business needs.  Let me tell you about it.  Well, this was not the determining factor but… I was able to have it personalized.  So that was a major plus for me.    I need things to be horizontal. My planning is more like writing or journaling.  If you are into Bullet Journaling then the vertical one is probably a better option for you.  Included in the package with my planner was Pandora’s Box.  It came with all kinds of stickers and dots, Coils, books, etc.  And, at that point, I knew I was in trouble.  It was the equivalent of Apple products. For example, if you got the iPod, at some point you probably got the iPhone, and then the iPad, and eventually the iMac.   You probably have the Apple TV and you could probably think of a million other Apple products you would love to have.  I went straight to the Erin Condren site and I was in seventh heaven.  From there, I went to Pinterest and Searched Planner Stickers and then I was on to Instagram for more ideas/inspiration.

Planning Your Own Way Planner Pics

Planning Your Own Way Planner Sticker Views - Instagram Pages

Photo Source: Instagram Pages – PlannerStudio ThePlannerSociety

Thankfully, I was able to apply the brakes here. Being a former Scrapbooker, I was able to see the trap before I fell into it.  While I certainly aspire to have my Planner Pages look like some of the ones shown above.  I knew that this would be a job all to itself.  And, trust me when I say that I do not need ANOTHER JOB.  Now, I won’t lie to you and say that I didn’t  order any stickers because, I did but I tried to keep it simple.  If you are up to the challenge – Check out the Links to the  Instagram Pages in the links above. I decided to compromise with myself and put together a system that I could manage without feeling overwhelmed.

  1.   Key/Legend/Color Coding- I decided that this would be easiest way for me to keep up with my tasks by creating a Key and Color Coding. I split my Household Planner up  into these categories:  Household – Kids/School/Family – Meal/Diet/Fitness – Financial/Diet -Me/Other.  I split my Business Planner up into these categories: Blog – Social Media – Etsy – Ideas – Me/Other.  Take some time  and figure out what categories work for you before setting up your system.
  2.   Stickers –  If you are concerned with the looks/aesthetic of your planner than you will most likely get sucked in here.  For me, I need maximum writing space.  But, I found the smaller stickers were useful when tracking things like vitamins, water intake, exercise, and appointments.
  3. Tabs/Arrows – I find these helpful as ways to draw attention to certain areas or upcoming projects.  And, with all the color  and style options they can look cute too.

We are almost through February and I think I have found a system that works for  me.  I am sure I will make more tweaks as the weeks go on but for now, this seems to be working.  What is your favorite planner?  And, how do you keep it organized?

“a goal without a plan is just a wish.”

5 Simple Ways not let your quest for perfection become a “time suck”?

ANYTHING CAN BE A TIME SUCK.

5 Simple Ways Not to Let Your Quest for Perfection Become a Time Suck.

Your To Do List has gone from Line Items to Journal Entries.  There is so much to do and just not enough time, or at least that is how it seems.  Is your quest for perfection becoming a time suck and preventing you from being productive?  Check out these 5 Simple Steps to get it all under control.

Planing and Preparation:  It’s no secret that I love a list, and even more than that I love a good Planner.  But, as with anything else spending an hour planning to do something that never gets done, serves no real purpose. Simply nail down what has to be done and move on.

Time Blocking:  Now that you know what you have to do.  How much time can you realistically afford to spend on each of your tasks?   Separate your tasks into categories and then decide what the level of importance is.  Then block your time accordingly and stay committed to it.  Don’t let one task bleed over into the time you have allotted for something else.  (I personally, struggle with this one a lot.  Especially if I feel like I am on a role.  But, I know that their are only so many hours before the girls are home from school, and then all bets are off. For more information on Time Blocking or to Download a Free Printable that can help you with this.  Check out Hey Donna.com’s blog post Time Blocking 101.

Sample Time Blocking Sheet from Hey Donna.com

Photo Source: HeyDonna.com

Rest:  Even the most stimulating task starts to feel mundane after a while. It’s very easy to get caught up and let time pass you by.  This is especially true for those of us working from home. Get up. Rest Your Eyes.  Grab Lunch – Socialize A Bit. Even if it’s a particularly nice day outside and you would rather stay out and play or shop.  You will be surprised that you will return with a renewed spirit.

Return to your tasks:  This is possibly the most crucial step.  You have to finish what you started. Even if you can’t get it all done in one sitting, make finite and future plans to complete them.

Celebrate Your Success:  Your work day is over.  This is the time to enjoy simple pleasures that could otherwise get you off track. For me that would be my personal Facebook Page, Words with Friends or Sims Free Play, anything that will draw my focus and my time away from what is important.  Now, if you are Mommy, then it’s probably time to start your other full time job.  So, feel free to start off with a glass of wine, since more than likely dinner is your responsibility.  It’s ok. You’ve earned it.

What do you do to keep the wheels from falling off the bus??

Beating The Winter Blues

Beating The Winter Blues

When the New Year starts, I am always filled with so much hope and motivation.  But, as the days go by in January, I sometimes find myself falling into Alice’s Rabbit Hole. For me, I think the reason behind this lies in the fact that I hate to be stuck inside.  It’s called Cabin fever.  I know I have definitely turned into a bit of a home body since becoming a full time stay at home mom.  But, there are still days when I want to get up and venture out into the world, whether it be to grocery shop or hit up the closest Target or Walmart.  Some days I just need to get out and spread my wings.  But, the colder it gets the more those plans tend to exist only in my head or penciled in my planner.  The older I get and the longer I live in Georgia, I fear the cold, which now feels like it chills me to be the bone.  I have never had a strong immune system, an unfortunate trait, I think I passed down to my babies.  I dread being sick!!  So rather than allow myself to turn into a Winter Weather Hermit, I came up with some tips to beat these Winter Blues.

Plan Plan Plan…

It’s easy to simply crawl into bed and pull the cover up around my ears.  And, as divine as that sounds I am pretty sure that I would get NOTHING done, except maybe catching up on the movies on my DVR.  So I plan out my day from Household Duties –  Business Duties ( this Blog/Etsy/Social Media Stuff).  For example, I know that I can get more cleaning and more writing done when the kids are at school.

Stock Pile…

Hoard… If you are going to go into semi- hibernation get the things you need or want to surround you.  For me that is Coffee (the good stuff, and lots of it), Delicious Creamers, Warm Hearty Soups, Comfortable Socks, good reading material and even better music.  Believe it or not these things can serve as inspiration on days when you really need some.

make yourself a priority…

It’s easy to put off getting your hair dyed, or your eyebrows arched when you aren’t going to a job everyday.  But, you just can’t allow yourself to become a recluse.  Set appointments for yourself that you DON”T waffle out of.  It can be as simple as getting a much needed and well deserved pedicure.  Lunch with a friend to catch up on life OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.  A doctor’s appointment that you have been putting off.  Something you know you have to do but don’t necessarily want to do.  Make yourself accountable to you.

find your productivity window…

This can be a time period where you feel the most productive.  It can be a certain spot that gets great light where you can write.  It could be right after you work out.  Just like with anything else, the key here is to know yourself.  You know what colors look best on you or what styles you prefer to wear.  You should also know when you are at your best and capable of your best work.  In a regular 9-5 environment this is not as easy to achieve.  But, when you are at home you have a little bit more flexibility. Work Smarter – Not Harder.

“Wisdom comes with winter.” — oscar wilde

I sure am glad that I live in Georgia now.  I can’t imagine what I would do with more weeks of winter than what we currently have.  What are your tricks to staying both productive and content during the Winter Months?

Read More About My Winter Struggles HERE.