Getting Your Focus Back

5
Feb
2015

Keep-focus big

There are days when I feel like my brain in mush.   Mama wakes up and even after a couple cups of my favorite coffee, it is still struggle to get things into focus.  I need to get my MOJO going!

Brain fog is a condition that many of us moms experience, even without having extra issues, like emotional struggles, autoimmune disease or just plain exhaustion.  But I am here to share a few of my favorite weapons that help keep my brain engaged and in gear when my brain feels sluggish and unfocused.

It is amazing what a few drops of an essential oil can do to help clarity, focus and concentration without any side effects that could be harmful. I just love that!  I am also so happy that I decided to choose Young Living as the only essential oils I use in my home as they have the largest oil selection – more than any other essential oil company.

Curious to here about some of my favorites for keeping focus?  Here are a few in my secret stash:  

Motivation™ helps you overcome procrastination and take action

I need this by the gallon!  But really, this awesome blend of Roman Chamomile, Spruce, Ylang Ylang and Lavender is one that will get you going!  I love diffusing this one at my desk or in the kitchen, especially while unsuspecting kids are working on homework or college applications!  :-)

Brain Power™ clarifies thought and focus

It does just what it says.  Serious as a heart attack!   The blend of Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Melissa, Frankincense, Blue Cypress, Lavender, and Helichrysum gives your brain a boost with essential oils that are high in sesquiterpenes.  This one is excellent applied topically at the base of the neck.

Clarity™ promotes a clear mind and alertness

Clarity contains stimulating oils including peppermint and rosemary, which have been used for many years to promote mental sharpness. A study performed by Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati found that inhaling peppermint oil increased the mental accuracy of students by 28 percent.  This is such an incredible blend of Basil,  Cardamom, Rosemary, peppermint, Coriander, Geranium, Bergamot, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile and Palmarosa.   I enjoy this one in the diffuser and also topically on the vita-flex points on the ears (not in the ear, ON the ear!)  Here are two different charts you can refer to on Pinterest:  Emotional Ear Chart and the Vita-Flex Ear Chart.

Rosemary improves mental clarity and concentration

I love that this oil is so beneficial for so many things – it’s relaxing but yet invigorating, can be used in cooking and does help with clarity and concentration.  It is one of my favorites to use in an Epsom Salt Bath in the evening, as it is great for muscle relaxation as well.

Grounding™ supports clarity and balance

I use this blend on me as well as my five year old.  We all have some emotional chaos that needs tamed, I am sure you know exactly what I mean – this blend can lead to better decision making and cope with issues at hand.  Powerful blend of  White fir, Spruce, Ylang Ylang, Pine, Cedarwood, Angelica and Juniper.

These can all be applied topically and used in the diffuser – easy peasy.  If you are looking for some  help to get back on track, you’ll want to check them out.  If you are not a member of our oily community yet, you can CLICK here to find out more on how you can become a Young Living Member and feel empowered caring for your family!   

Join us Tuesday evening for a fun LIVE Facebook event learning about essential oils – easy from your own home!  CLICK HERE TO JOIN!

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am just a mom sharing my experience in order to help others, not a doctor.

How a Pig Saves My Mornings

12
Jan
2015

Pig-Timer-Smooth-Mornings

I know you’ve been there – the morning begins to slip away, no one is cooperating, breakfast is not getting eaten, no one has brushed their teeth and you need to get out the door!  The dilly-dallying is non-stop and will bring any mom to the brink of BLOWING!

Yep, I get it.  But you know what?  I have discovered that normally I am 98% at fault.  I am the one that ends up playing the game with my son, who is five – who loves to take his time – unless there is a reason to hurry.  I end of falling into this pattern of begging, pestering and escalating my voice thinking that will help things along, but it ends up only making it worse.

Until, I remembered my PIG timer!pig timer

Several years ago I ordered this cute pig timer to have on the counter to use to help me stay on task.  It does work well and one morning it came to me, why not use this timer to help my son?

Brilliant!

So we began using the Pig timer in the morning and the challenge was for my son to BEAT THE PIG!

We need to be out the door on most mornings by 8:45 AM.  So when we first began using this tool (the pig timer) he would have a set amount of time to eat his breakfast before the pig timer went off.  Once the timer went off, he was done.  No second chances…. but I would leave his breakfast out for him, so if he completed the other tasks before time, then he could come use his extra time to eat his breakfast.  Normally for us, this is not an issue.

At 8:00 AM I set the timer for 30 minutes…. so he has that time period to get dressed, make his bed and brush his teeth.  These tasks are all ones that he can complete on his own, except for brushing his teeth.  When he is ready to brush his teeth, he lets me know and I will help.  

When we first began this challenge, I wanted him to succeed, so made sure to offer as much time as possible for him to complete his tasks, even if he chose to dilly-dally.  He loved the challenge to, “Beat the Pig!”.

If he “Beats the Pig” then we have extra time to do something fun – either read a book, watch a TV show or even play a game on my iPad.

I cannot even tell you how easier my morning is when I remember my trusty friend the Pig.  When we get out of our routine though, I will sink back into my old habits of raising my voice, making demands, saying things I really don’t mean and cannot realistically even do and just create a frustrating and terrible start to our morning.  I know you can relate, many of you have shared with me the frustrations of getting toddlers ready in the morning.

I urge you to spend the $6 and grab a Pig for your own smooth mornings.  Have a Beat The Pig jar of fun activities that the child or children can do if they beat the pig.  If they don’t beat the Pig, you have to have a consequence too…… often times it is that they are late to school – which at our house means that there is not fun extras after school – like TV time or iPad time.

But I will say, those days are very few, the excitement to Beat the Pig and not hear his timer go off is such a great challenge that he meets it with gusto!  Sometimes we also have a contest between h and I to see who can beat each other first before the Pig with our morning tasks too!  (A secret, I almost always let him win those challenges – I am a big softy sometimes!)

If you are looking for other tips on creating a smooth morning routine for kids, you might check this article out I shared previously.

Dream Dinner Challenge Wrap Up

30
Sep
2014

Dinner-Challenge

Earlier this month I partnered with Dream Dinners  with the 30 Days of Dinner Challenge.  I was blessed with a fabulous way to provide great meals to my family by using the simple and easy meals you pre-make in their store locations.  We have had a very busy month and it was such  treat to just pull something from the freezer and not have to worry about grocery shopping or coming up with an idea and prep time.

We took care of that when we went into Dream Dinners and made our dinners in just under 1 1/2 hours!

We exceeded the challenge I took by two meals.  Our schedule is tricky – but this month I had challenged myself to 15 family meals together – we actually had 17 (and that is not including several breakfasts and lunches!)

What we ate

This is our spread from Dream Dinners – remember I am not a food photographer, but this will give you some ideas of the yummy meals we had.  We also of course had leftovers and a few other family favorites mixed in.

Steak-Provence

Steak-Gorgonzola

Outlaw-Chicken

Monte-Cristo-correct

Kentucky-Pork

Cranberry-Buttermilk

Cola-Pork

Chicken-Soft

Bueno-Steak

Wasn’t all that looking very good??

What I loved

Going to a location where we made our meals all in advanced was FAB-U-LOUS!  They cleaned it all up and I came home with 12 meals.

The best meals in my opinion were the two steak dinners – I was absolutely amazed at the quality of beef we had.  Remember here, I am rather spoiled as we buy direct from a farmer, grass-fed beef – and it is incredible.  I was very surprised at the tenderness of this meat and the sauces used were very tasty.

Going to the freezer and just pulling a meal out was incredibly easy and saved a ton of time.  We have never been real big on just heading out the door to a restaurant for dinner when I end up empty handed in the evening – we always find something.  But this made that idea of ‘going out’ because we didn’t anything an excuse we couldn’t use.

What I found difficult

To be honest, there was one thing that was a bit hard for me, since I have unique dietary challenges, mostly being gluten free.  It was hard to determine exactly what I could eat when choosing the menu items off the website, so we ended up arriving to make meals that did in fact have gluten in them.  If there had been a better description or list of ingredients I could have chosen more wisely or even brought different ingredients to substitute.  

For example, the meatloaf has bread crumbs, I could have brought my almond flour to use instead or these corn flake crumbs and substituted those.  So, for me it was a bit more challenging to eat this month and stay on track.

All in all it was a great success!  I loved making all the meals ahead of time and also finding new things to share at our dinner table.  We were extremely blessed!

Did you commit to the challenge too?  I would love to hear how it went – leave a comment.

9 Musts for Marvelous Mornings

25
Sep
2014

More manageable mornings

I was running frazzled, raising my voice and my four year old because we were going to be late to preschool AGAIN this week.  WHY?

Then it occurred to me, I had chosen to bypass my routine for the morning and everything was tubing down.

Sound familiar?

There are certain aspects of our lives that need to be in check – and for me and I feel for most moms – we need routine for ourselves and for our family.  Managing our homes does not come by chance and we need to be intentional to make things run smoothly.

I want a great morning and thought these tips might help you have a Marvelous Morning too!

Regular Wake Up Times

This is for everyone – you and your kids.  The particular morning I shared about earlier was one where I got up a few minutes later than my normal time and then I let my four year old sleep in a bit later because I wasn’t finished with my regular morning routine.  Big mistake.

Why I do this I will never know – but it has now been proven to me multiple times – I cannot expect everything to go smoothly when I change the routine.

Wake Up Oily Routine

I have a routine…..oh yes I do!!  It gets me off to a great start – so thankful for my Young Living essential oils instead of popping pills.  I love my Progessence Plus, Harmony over my heart, EndoFlex and some En-R-Gee – it’s what I do first thing in the morning.  Oh, and then I also love some Citrus Fresh in the diffuser!   {You can check this post out for more of my routines using oils during the day too!}

Your Favorite Beverage

For me, it’s coffee – yep – COFFEE!!  I especially love that I switched about two years ago to brewing only one cup at a time with a Keurig and it is fabulous. Fresh, hot, rich….. perfect to snuggle down with to spend some quiet time in the morning.  {This is my favorite coffee to brew in the morning!}  If you are not a coffee drinker – no worries – grab a beverage that you enjoy!

bible

Me Time

In order for me to be the best I can be, I have to get some quiet time to myself when I first wake up.  I have a spot on my sofa, I curl up with my iPad (which holds my kindle and also YouVersion Bible APP) a journal and headphones so I can listen to some praise music to start my day.  There is nothing better to fill my tank – nothing!

Check the Schedule

If I haven’t looked at our day the night before (which I often have) I will quickly check the calendar and outline my list of errands, to-do items and what is for dinner.  This gets my mind focused on the day ahead.

Shower

We all know this one and I even resist and tell myself, “Oh, I will do that later.”  Well, guess what – it doesn’t end up happening.  If I end up taking two showers a day because I work out later in the day, so be it.  I know that I can focus better and am in a better state of mind when my body is fresh and clean.

Simple Breakfast

Scrambled eggs, cereal, toast with apple butter – simple choices.  Do not have too many choices either or you will be battling little ones who can make decisions!  I love that I can add on a breakfast menu option to my eMeals plan – making simple and easy breakfasts even easier!   You can save 20% with code SCHOOL on any eMeals Meal Plan until September 30th.

Have Buffer Time

It seems like the mornings can tend to be scheduled to the second.  Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, fix some buffer time in your morning so you don’t have to beginning raising your voice to get everyone out the door.  If I do my part and keep things moving in the morning and do not let people sleep late, including me – tasks get done easier and with less fuss.

GO TO BED

This is almost the most important part of any morning routine – you need to get to bed at a time that allows your body to get enough sleep.  Your body needs sleep to re-set and restore itself, and if you are compromising your time in bed, your body will fight back.  Make sure you are getting to bed at a descent hour to get the sleep you need.

What is your favorite tip?

5 Time Management Hacks

14
Aug
2014

TIme-Management-Hacks-Intentional-Day

It is time to stop all the fun and games of summer and begin getting back to organized days and routine.  If you are anything like me, summer means you lose a bit of routine and feel a bit less productive – which can be good, but there is a time for everything as they say – and now we must think ahead and move forward.

As the school year begins, it is the perfect time to take a look at organizing our day with intention and purpose. The real key isn’t to hope to pull extra time out of nowhere, but to learn to use the time you do have more effectively. Being intentional with your time management can be the key to success and a life with less stress and anxiety

Here are my tips to jumpstart you back into an organized day!

An Effective To-Do List

This is one of the most essential tools in time management.  Find a system that works for you.  I know many have so appreciated combining their to-do list in the Weekly Household Planner – especially the version that is all ready to use, with all the household tasks listed out.  I love using my planner and adding other tasks that I need to accomplish in the line available for each day or in the notes section.  I also at times up a sticky note attached to my planner for tasks that need to be completed.  Adding tasks to the list the night before helps me organize my day and realize what needs to get done and what I might be able to put on another day.  Some moms have printed the blank version and used that exclusively for “other tasks” – making it easy to write on and organize.

Prioritizing what you need to accomplish will help you to understand what is truly important to get done and what may be able to wait.

 Next is to prioritize them. Be honest when you do this. Figure out what you need to get done and put those higher on the list than what you want to get done.

Use a Calendar

Keep track of important dates, birthdays, appointments and upcoming events. Our family uses the Apple iCal system to keep things in order and all 6 of our calendars easily synced.   I love it!  From myself to my husband who travels 3-4 days a week and a college age daughter – we all need to know what is going on.  This has been the easiest system for us to use.  Find a system that works for you and use it!  I have also used Cozi previous to our Apple conversion, or you can grab a paper calendar as well. This Amy Knapp 2015 version is great because it is big and easy for little ones to see what is coming up and is 17 months, so starts with August 2014!

Keeping a visual calender at arm’s reach does wonders for making sure you are on track and is a central place for everyone to see what is going on as well.

Command Center

Take some time to find an area in your home where you can keep your calendar and tasks items located. When things are in their place you won’t lose time looking for them. This also makes it easier to concentrate.  Having a central location for spare paper, pens, envelopes, sticky notes and your task lists will help you be intentional with staying organized.  Put stuff away when you are done it and file paperwork as soon as it is ready to be filed.

Schedule Breaks

This may make you laugh, but you are working too – so just like you would have scheduled breaks at an “office” job, plan time in your day to have a couple 10-15 minute breaks. They are important for staying refreshed so scheduling them will make sure you take breaks as well as helping some other little ones in your home expect them each day – routine makes everything  bit easier!  Use a timer to remind yourself if you need to, but take some breaks throughout the day. 

Be flexible, yet firm

It is great to have a plan and a routine that works for your family, but remember that each day brings it’s own set of issues and it’s not always possible to stick to a set routine.  I admit, adjusting to curve balls in my day can be a bit overwhelming to me, and is something I have to work on.  When something comes up that needs to get done or you need to give attention to, stop and determine if there is something that will need to be deleted from your day or rescheduled.  

Time management can save you a lot of trouble and stress. Through planning and organization you can save time and get more done. It may have a small time investment to get started, but the benefits can be amazing, plus you will open time up for things that are FUN things to fit into your day!