Stop the Overload!

Even after all the talk about making small changes to improve your world this month, perhaps you are still feeling overwhelmed – like even adding small changes are too much.  That there just isn’t enough time to even start to create those changes.  Is this you?Planet Earth . . .Modelled 1

I know between work, travel and family obligations, I often feel like I don’t have even a minute to sit down, let along create a change in my life.

This week, I’m going to share my favorite stress release (and time creating) tip of all:  Don’t overload yourself!!!

Much as we’d like to create more time, there are only 24 hours in a day and only one of you.  You can’t create more time.  So instead of cramming everything you want to do in 24 hours, why not figure out how much time you actually have and THEN plan accordingly.

My example:  I have 24 hours, and I know I do best with 8 hours of sleep, so I subtract that and now I’m down to 16 hours.  Pull out another 8 hours for work each day and I’m down to 8 hours.  I like to take an hour and a half in the morning to get ready for the day, get the kids off to school, journal and do some writing.  Add another 30 minutes for exercise and I’ve still got 6 hours left.  Estimate 2 hours for driving kids around, meals and cleaning, now I’m down to 4 hours.  I’ll pull out an hour of that for bedtime routines/stories/ etc. and I have 3 hours left.  I like to give myself a 2 hour buffer (because let’s face it time seems to disappear often!) and that gives me an hour each day to read, create, watch TV, visit with friends, etc.  They key is not to plan to do more than I can in that hour – in other words a typical day isn’t the day to decide I can completely clean out my closet, train for a marathon (not that I plan on doing that anytime soon), create an entire scrapbook, etc.  Or if I decide I really want to do one of those things, then something else in the day has to be eliminated.  If I only have an hour, I only have an hour – it makes no sense to try to do more as the time simply isn’t there!

                                                                                                  8 hours sleep

                                                                                                  8 hours work

                                                                                                  2 hours morning routine/exercise

                                                                                                  2 hours driving/meals/cleaning

                                                                                                  1 hour bedtime routine/reading/games

                                                                                                  2 hours buffer

                                                                                                  1 hour “me” time

Obviously everyday can be different, but the key is that you can’t create new hours in the day,  and you can’t do more than can be accomplished in the time you have.  Period.

How do you manage your time?  Or does your time manage you?

Want to get a better start to your day?  Make sure you manage your time in the mornings instead of letting it manage you?  Then get your FREE copy of “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day.”

photo by:

Help Others to Improve YOUR World

Another thing I want to do this month to improve my world is help others.  It’s a topic I’ve thought a lot about over the years.  My belief is that Planet Earth . . .Modelled 1anyone can make a difference in the life of others, and doing so will improve your happiness and the quality of your health and life.  You don’t need lots of time or money, just an open mind and a willingness to take action.

In the past, I’ve shared a variety of ways to give back both for yourself and your kids.

Since March is all about action for me, I’m trying something different this year.  I’m not going to rehash all my old suggestions (or even come up with some new ones) on how to help others.  Instead, I’m going to spend one week doing something small EACH DAY to help others.

In order to keep me accountable, I’ll post daily on my Facebook page what I did and how it felt.  I know without the daily posting, I’m sure to let this slide – I’ll get too busy or just forget, so I’m counting on you to keep me honest!

I would love it if anyone else wants to join me – it’s only 7 days people – you can do it too!!!  Just jump in and comment on the Facebook page any day you participate!  In the meantime, what are some of YOUR ideas on how to help others?  Please share in the comments – I might just need some new ideas!

Summer is coming, are you ready?  Ready to have the best summer of your life?  I have openings in April for working with two ladies to create the healthy, happy life you desire.  Contact me today for a FREE 30 minute clarity session – you’ll come out of it with a few goals and we can decide if I will be the best person to help you accomplish them!

Shared on Inspire Me Monday and The Mommy Club

photo by:

Live a Little Greener

Last week I mentioned using less chemicals as something I want to “improve.”  I’m not likely to completely eliminate them from my life, but I figure even a small change is an improvement right?  It’s similar to my food philosophy – I do the best I can at home and don’t worry about parties, restaurants, etc. Planet Earth . . .Modelled 1

What are some areas I could make a little “greener”?  I’ve created some cleaners and other products in the past using my favorite essential oils:

I also re-use and re-cycle as much as possible.  So, what’s next?  I picked up a few books at the Half-Price Book Store and came up with some ideas:

  • Eliminate air fresheners – I don’t use them often, but I did keep my old plug-ins “just in case.”  No more, they are gone, and I am committing to using my favorite diffuser (currently diffusing Citrus Fresh in hopes of Spring) or I simmer cloves and cinnamon in water with a drop of orange essential oil.
  • Get rid of bugs naturally!  I don’t know how they are alive with as cold as it’s been, but we had a few ants in our bathroom – how they got there is a real mystery.  I sent my son in with a spray bottle containing Lavender and Purification Oils diluted in a bit of water.  He sprayed all the baseboards and the ants haven’t been back.  He had fun doing it and I loved not using the chemicals.

How about greener body care?  It seemed like a fun way to take a little break (and I had my daughter help me).  We made a delicious smelling salt scrub.  With sandal weather on the horizon, this should help me get my feet ready without all the ingredients I can’t pronounce in a thick, foot softening scrub.

homemade foot scrub

These ingredients:    sea salt, dried lavender, olive oil  vs. these: Water, Pumice, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Acrylates/Steareth-20, Methacrylate Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Lauryl Betaine, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Peppermint (Mentha Arvensis) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Salicylate, Fragrance, Citric Acid.

Another fun and easy product to make is my homemade deodorant:  No Need to Be a Hippy to Make Your Own Deodorant

These are a few steps I’m making this month – they are fun and easy and will make a difference in MY world!

Interested in learning more?  Here are a few books I found with more fun ideas (these are on Amazon, but as always I encourage you to head to  your local library first!):
Sara Snow’s Fresh Living: The Essential Room-by-Room Guide to a Greener, Healthier Family and Home

Lavender, Parsley, Peppermint, and Sage

500 Formulas For Aromatherapy: Mixing Essential Oils for Every Use

What are your ideas?  Share your comments on how you will be changing YOUR world this month in the comments below – I’d love to hear your plans!

I still have room in my schedule for TWO free Clarity Sessions – after a short 30 minute conversation, you’ll have a concrete list of your three top goals/ values for the year! This will definitely help you with making a list of areas of your life you’d like to improve.   Don’t delay, sign up now while they are still available!

*Affiliate Links in this post*

photo by:

Improve Your World to Improve Your Life

Planet Earth . . .Modelled 1This month, we’ll focus on improving your world.  Why?  Why is this something to even think about?  It’s simple really.  By taking small steps to improve your world, you will improve your life.  The changes you make will:

  • improve your attitude
  • create a more positive outlook
  • help you appreciate your life more
  • create feelings of happiness and accomplishment

It’s amazing how these positive effects will begin to snowball into MORE positive action.  Plus, it’s fun!

So what do I mean by improving your world?  Note that I include the word you – I’m not stating improve THE world (although hopefully by improving your world you are making a small positive change in the world).  What comes to mind for me are areas like helping others you encounter, improving the quality of your daily life, improving your relationships, improving your health, and so on.

Ready to get started?  I can’t just introduce this idea without asking for some action, right?

This week I’d like you to do two things – and don’t worry, I’m going to play along:

  1. Make a list of several areas of your life you’d like to improve.
  2. Pick one and think of 1-2 actions you can implement THIS week to improve your world for one of the areas from step 1.

I’ll get the conversation started by sharing mine here:

  1. creativity, helping others, reduce chemicals used in our house, health (sleep, increase fitness level), schedule overload
  2. Creativity – I’ve never thought of myself as a creative person, but after reading The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You; I realized that just because I’m not a gifted artist or amazing musician, it doesn’t mean I’m not creative.  This quote from the book says it all:  “Creativity isn’t crafting; it is any original expression you pursue – running, playing music, gardening, sewing, cooking, and so on are all creative acts.  Even activities like volunteering and throwing parties are creative pursuits because by giving of ourselves for others we are expressing ourselves in a meaningful way.”  I love that description!  So this month, I plan on focusing on improving my creative expression WHEREVER I see it – cooking healthy and fun meals for my family, creating new blog posts and programs for the women I coach, even tangible craft or science projects with my kids.  My plan is to do something every week this month to express my creativity.

So what is your plan for the week?  I’d love to hear more about how you will improve your world, so please share in the comments below.  Let’s all spend some time this month improving our world and our life!

I still have room in my schedule for TWO free Clarity Sessions – after a short 30 minute conversation, you’ll have a concrete list of your three top goals/ values for the year! This will definitely help you with making a list of areas of your life you’d like to improve.   Don’t delay, sign up now while they are still available!

Shared on Ladies Collective, The Mommy Club

 

photo by:

Weekly Goals March 2 – 8

I’m anticipating a really busy week, so I’m keeping my goals pretty minimal!Weekly Goals

Last Week’s Goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every daydone
  • Keep up with coaching coursework - done
  • Submit a guest postdone
  • Work on March blog postsdone

Personal

Family

  • Fall Break Photo Book – nope
  • One-on-one time with sonyes, had a fun Saturday afternoon
  • Date nightvery fun night out for a Trivia Challenge Fundraiser
  • Figure out return trip for Spring Break – stop somewhere else? – discussed, but didn’t book
  • Summer camps – book them!all but one done (Hubby has to do it)

Household

  • Prep for next day each night – 3 nights 
  • Work on office paperwork – did a little more
  • 2014 Taxes – nope

This Week’s Goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day
  • Keep up with coaching coursework
  • Submit a guest post
  • Finish March blog posts

Personal

  • Read 2 books
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a day
  • Exercise 5x
  • Regular morning routine

Family

  • Figure out return trip for Spring Break – stop somewhere else?

Household

  • Prep for next day each night
  • Pack ski trip

What are YOUR plans for the week?  I’d love to see you share them or even a link to your goals in the comments.

Ready to achieve your goals this year?  Having a personal health & lifestyle coach will keep you accountable and help you get the results you want – whether your goal is to get fit, eat better, be healthier, have more fun, or just be happier.  Right now I have room in my schedule for ONE new lady – so if you want this to be the year you accomplish more than you ever have before, contact me to set up your FREE 30-minute Clarity Session.  We’ll hash out your top three goals and decide if we are a good fit to work together in the next few months to accomplish them.  What do you have to lose?  But act fast, because once this spot is gone, it’s gone!

*this post contains affiliate links

Favorite Books for February 2015

Another month of great reading.  The three fiction books I selected as my favorites couldn’t be more different.  You can find everything I’ve read so far this month HERE, and below are my

favorites.

airport

Taking advantage of delays!

Fiction

This book was delightful.  Really an entertaining story and terrific characters.  If you are looking for a light and enjoyable escape, give this one a go.  The main character, Juliet gets pulled into the life of a small island through correspondence with various inhabitants of Guernsey.  Before she knows it, she is off to the island and to a new life.  My rating 4.5 out of 5.

The story of a 13 year old boy trying to make sense of a series of deaths in his hometown – some close to his family, some not close, yet affected him nonetheless.  There is a bit of a mystery surrounding several of the deaths, a lot of sadness, and a lot of moments of unexpected grace.  My rating 4 out of 5.

The story starts with Rachel taking the train into London.  It moves back and forth between her narrative and that of several other characters.  At first this was a bit disconcerting – as their narratives move back and forth between the present and the past (I found myself having to flip back and forth a few times trying to figure out the timeline), but fairly soon the story starts to pull together and the reader discovers there is more to Rachel and the other characters than we see on the surface – each chapter reveals a bit more until everything is pieced together at the end.  My rating 4.5 out of 5.

Non-Fiction

Well, since I loved both of Shauna Niequist’s other books, it’s no surprise that this was a favorite.   Similar to her other books, this one is a series of essays delving into topics relevant to her life – focusing especially on a time of upheaval, how she dealt with it and the lessons learned.  Beautifully written and full of many wise nuggets.  My rating 4 out of 5.

Lots of great lessons in this one – I found myself taking notes throughout (which is always the sign of a good book to me!).   Although we ALL know how important it is to say no sometimes – and allow ourselves the freedom in our schedules to say yes to the best things in life, Lysa also shares some valid reasons WHY as well as some tools for HOW to reserve our time for “the best yes.”  Lovely book full of wisdom.  My rating 4.5 out of 5.

So what have you been reading lately?  Anything extra good that you’d like to share?  Please do so in the comments – and I’ll add it to my never-ending list of books I want to read!

Looking to create time in your life for reading?  Time for saying yes to the best your life has to offer?  I have room in my March schedule for 3 FREE Clarity sessions.  Contact me today and we’ll set one up for you – we’ll work together to figure out what is most important to you and you’ll leave with a list of your top three goals for the year.

Shared on The Book Nook

*This post contains affiliate links

The Easiest Brunch Ever

caffè latte, bills, 七里濱, 江之島電鐵, 鎌倉, 日本, 七里ヶ浜, 江ノ電, 鎌倉市, かまくら, Brunch, Shichirigahama, Kamakura, JapanA few weeks ago, I alluded to brunch being the easiest event to host, and received several requests for my “secrets.”  So here they are – get ready to entertain stress-free:

  1. Keep it simple.  It’s breakfast.  No need to get all fancy (unless that’s how you roll).  Simple dishes (even paper plates if that makes it doable for you) are fine.  Clean as you cook so there is little mess for the aftermath.
  2. Keep it casual.  Once again – it’s breakfast.  Very few people are in the mood to get all dressed up for breakfast, so plan your event accordingly.
  3. Prepare the night before.  This is really my biggest secret.  There is NOTHING on my menu that I can’t at least prep the night before.  That way I can enjoy the party too, and I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to get everything ready.  After all, a relaxed host will always improve the mood of a get-together.
  4. Keep it short.  A few hours is plenty of time for brunch.  Start at 9 or so and you can enjoy your time together and still allow everyone plenty of time to get on with their day.

Now you know some of the basics, so the next question is:

What do I serve?

The specifics vary each time I host a brunch, but here is the basic “formula” I like to follow:

  • some type of egg or meat casserole
  • a sweet bread (muffins, banana bread or coffee cake)
  • fresh fruit (often a bowl of mixed berries or other fruits)
  • coffee (make a big pot and put it in a warmer), have some flavored creamers and toppings on hand for fun
  • depending upon the guests, I might serve a pitcher of bloody marys or mimosas

That’s it.  You will have plenty of food, a nice variety, and all of it can be prepared ahead of time.  The morning of your brunch simply pop the casserole in the oven, set out the bread and fruit, start the coffee and mix up the drinks.

Everyone will enjoy a nice meal and good times together before starting their day.  Mission Accomplished!

How do you like to entertain?  Do you have any “secrets” you can share with us to make it easier?  Having friends and family over and serving them is a terrific way to build strong relationships and enjoy life at the same time!

Need a kick-start to your days?  Check out my FREE 3-day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day

Shared on The Mommy Club and Inspire Me Monday

photo by:

Weekly Goals February 23 – March 1

Ever have one of those weekends that didn’t feel like a weekend?  You feel more exhausted after the weekend than refreshed?  That was my weekend!  Luckily this isn’t a terribly busy week so hopefully I’ll be able to relax a little.Weekly Goals

Last Week’s Goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every daydone
  • Keep up with coaching coursework – done
  • Submit a guest postdone
  • Create March editorial calendardone

Personal

  • Read 2 booksreally enjoyed Ordinary Grace: A Novel and Trust No One this week
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a daydone
  • Exercise 5x – just 4 again!
  • Regular morning routine – did everyday except Friday – I have tweaked this a bit for this season and it’s working out REALLY well – if you need help in this area, check out my FREE resource “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day” HERE

Family

  • Fall Break Photo Book – didn’t even start this
  • Science Fair collagedone, but waiting for a sale to have it printed
  • One on one with daughterdone, we had TWO girls night with popcorn, books & our favorite shows
  • Book hotels for Spring Break drivefigured them out, will book today, so I’m considering this done!

Household

  • Prep for next day each night – did three nights
  • Work on office paperwork - did make a decent dent in this, but not done
  • 2014 Taxes – found out I washed one of the W-2’s, so need to have it re-printed 
  • Clean out coffee/ drink station cabinetdone

This Week’s Goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day
  • Keep up with coaching coursework
  • Submit a guest post
  • Work on March blog posts

Personal

  • Read 2 books
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a day
  • Exercise 5x
  • Regular morning routine

Family

  • Fall Break Photo Book
  • One-on-one time with son
  • Date night
  • Figure out return trip for Spring Break – stop somewhere else?
  • Summer camps – book them!

Household

  • Prep for next day each night
  • Work on office paperwork
  • 2014 Taxes

What are YOUR plans for the week?  I’d love to see you share them or even a link to your goals in the comments.

Ready to achieve your goals this year?  Having a personal health & lifestyle coach will keep you accountable and help you get the results you want – whether your goal is to get fit, eat better, be healthier, have more fun, or just be happier.  Right now I have room in my schedule for ONE new lady – so if you want this to be the year you accomplish more than you ever have before,contact me to set up your FREE 30-minute Clarity Session.  We’ll hash out your top three goals and decide if we are a good fit to work together in the next few months to accomplish them.  What do you have to lose?  But act fast, because once this spot is gone, it’s gone!

*this post contains affiliate links

Build a Strong Relationship with your Kids

This topic is so near and dear to my heart.  As a mama, my relationship with my kids is one of the most important in my life right now.  Before I Perkinsknow it they will be grown up and off on their own.  So I need to take advantage of the time I have today!  NOW is the time to create a strong, loving and positive relationship – hopefully one that will sustain us for the rest of our lives.  Plus it’s fun!  Who doesn’t need a little extra joy in their lives – and kids can definitely provide that.

I’m not the only one who feels this way.  Study after study shows that kids with strong family ties and good parental relationships are better students, healthier, happier and make better life choices.  Reason enough for me!

How you build this relationship will change through the years – when they are little and spend most of their time with you it’s easy – the kids want nothing more than to be with you and bask in your attention.  It gets tougher as they get older, develop outside friendships and start creating their own lives.  However there are some easy things you can do at ANY age to improve and deepen the bonds between you and your child:

  • One on one time.  If done well, this is pure gold for relationship building.  The most important ingredient is to put away that phone or other distractions and really concentrate on your child.  Let them know this is special time that you want to spend with just THEM.  I try to have breakfast before school or a hot chocolate “date” after school at least once a week with each child, and then once a month we try to do something fun – could be bowling, hitting the bookstore or even just board games at home.
  • Nightly tuck-in.  This is a no-brainer for little kids –  read a few stories, kiss them goodnight – perfect daily habit.  Suprisingly it’s also an amazingly effective relationship builder for my tween daughter.  She certainly doesn’t need to be tucked in at night, but if I go into her room after she gets into bed and sit down with her for a few minutes I learn all kinds of things about her life at school, friends, etc.  These are the conversations she doesn’t get to have with her little brother in the car or at a family dinner.  So just because your kids aren’t toddlers, don’t give up that nightly tuck-in.  It’s well worth the hassle of getting yourself off the couch or taking a break from cleaning the kitchen.
  • Participate in their interests.  Do I love to play soccer?  Nope. Am I any good at it?  Definitely not.  Yet I make sure to kick the ball around and practice footwork with my son most nights after dinner.  Ditto for putting and chipping the golf ball in the backyard.  My reason why?  My son love, love, loves those activities.  Your child will soak up the attention you give them while spending time with them doing what they love – and it will give you plenty of conversation topics.  My daughter is an avid reader, so for her I make sure and read a few of the books she is reading – we have had some really good conversations and she appreciates my interest.

What do YOU do to build strong relationships with your kids?  How important is this to you?  I’d love to hear your comments below – we always learn more from each other!

The month is almost over and I still have room in my schedule for TWO free Clarity Sessions – after a short 30 minute conversation, you’ll have a concrete list of your three top goals/ values for the year!  Don’t delay, sign up now while they are still available!

 Shared on Friendship Friday and Tune it up Tuesday

 

 

Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Need an easy but delicious breakfast for a crowd?  An overnight casserole is your answer.  No getting up at the crack of dawn to fix breakfast, no Brunch Dishstanding at the stove making a variety of different types of eggs while everyone else eats.  Simply prepare it the night before, store it in the fridge and pop it in the oven in the morning.  You get to eat with everyone else and enjoy a relaxing morning too!  Master this – you’ll be glad you did:

Overnight Breakfast Casserole

2 cups oven fries (make a double batch one night for dinner and save half)

1 to 2 cups chopped veggies (peppers, mushrooms, onions)

1 cup cooked breakfast sausage

5 to 6 large eggs

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper

Step one:  spray a casserole dish (9×9) with olive oil spray and place oven fries in dish

Step two:  sprinkle veggies and sausage evenly over the potatoes

December 2014 021

Step three:  beat the eggs until fluffy and pour over top

Step four:  sprinkle cheddar on top of the eggs and lightly salt and pepper

December 2014 022

Step five:  cover and place in fridge overnight

Step six:  Pop in the oven in the morning at 350 until eggs are cooked through (depending upon how deep your dish is, will probably be about 40 minutes).

Enjoy – it will quickly look like this:

December 2014 029

Ready to achieve your goals this year?  Having a personal health & lifestyle coach will keep you accountable and help you get the results you want – whether your goal is to get fit, eat better, be healthier, have more fun, or just be happier.  Right now I have room in my schedule for 2 new ladies – so if you want this to be the year you accomplish more than you ever have before,contact me to set up your FREE 30-minute Clarity Session.  We’ll hash out your top three goals and decide if we are a good fit to work together in the next few months to accomplish them.  What do you have to lose?  But act fast, because once those spots are gone, they are gone!

Shared on Create with Joy, The Mommy Club and Real Food Wednesday