The Marvelous Things I Do Every Sunday

Sundays are my favorite day of the week! Maybe it’s because I’m a power planner and I look forward to prepping for the week ahead. Or maybe it’s because I always squeeze a little lazy time into my Sundays to chill and refresh for the busy week I know is coming. Or maybe there’s just something sanctimonious about a Sunday to me. I think it’s a little bit of all of the above. Sundays always feel a bit new to me, like I’m kicking off a new project or starting a new adventure, there’s just something invigorating about it for me.

  1. I clean up my home. I wash the dishes and put them away. I clean my bathroom and I pick up my bedroom. I always find I feel better throughout the week being able to get ready in a clean area and starting my week off with the house looking fresh and tidy.
  2. I finish the laundry and put away my clothes. Making sure my clothes are clean and I have what I need for the week always helps me feel more sane and helps me stay pulled together even when the week gets busy and hectic.
  3. I review my planner and schedule for the week making sure I don’t have any surprises ahead in the week. Knowing what you have coming in the week helps give you a stronger mindset to manage your days.
  4. I spend some time with my blog. I review my blog editorial calendar and plan out some time throughout the week to write accordingly. I build and schedule out my social media posts for the week. I stumble my recent posts. I build at least the outline draft for my weekly email. This way I have a good structure for the week and can time block some evenings for writing.
  5. I plan my meals for the week. This keeps me on plan with my healthy eating and I can make sure I have what I need for lunches and dinners before the week starts.
  6. I plan out my outfit for Monday morning, or at least get some ideas of what I want to wear. This takes out some of the hustle on a Monday morning.
  7. I take a quick go-through of my work emails. My inbox always seems to fill up over the weekend so I find my Monday mornings are a bit more relaxing if I can clear out the junk mail and organize the others into their correct files and flag priority emails to find easily come the morning.
  8. I indulge in a facial treatment. Sundays are a good day for me to get in a little extra skin care. I apply a detoxing facial mask and then follow up with an organic facial oil. I find it relaxing and I love feeling a little extra pampered.
  9. I Netflix (or Amazon Prime) and chill. I always make it a point to get a little lazy time in on my Sundays. This is important to me because I don’t get much down time during the week. I’m currently powering through a show on Amazon called ‘Humans’.
  10. I spend some time sketching or painting. I am a huge advocate of art therapy. I always find it a wonderful way for me to release some built up stress or frustration. It helps me relax and recharge before the week starts.

Maybe this seems like a little bit of a busy day to some but for me this is my day, my time. Getting myself organized and balanced out helps me have a better week. It helps me feel prepared and gives me peace of mind. What routines do you have on Sundays to prepare for your week?

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5 Top Goals To Get Focused on Self-Improvement

September is National Self-Improvement Month and with a new season ahead of us it’s a great time to get setting some new goals. Here’s the top goals to set for yourself this month. *These are high level goals, over the next few weeks we’ll break them down more with tips, tricks, and ideas to soar to the top! 

1. Get Fit. A healthy body is a gateway to a healthy life and mind. It improves our overall happiness and helps boost our energy day by day. Find ways to add better eating habits and healthy exercise routines into your weeks consistently. 

2. Financial Organization. Set goals to build a budget and to stick to it, set savings goals. This goal is all about building more security and financial freedom into your life. 

3. Focus on Building a Healthy Mind. Daily affirmations and meditation are great ways to building a clear and strong mind and to help you manage stress better. 

4. Make “Me” Time for Yourself. It’s important to have time to yourself to decompress from the stresses of every day life. This helps you recharge and reflect for what’s going on and for what’s to come. 

5. Expand and Keep Growing. Never give up on your dreams. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and go for them. Take classes on topics that intrigue you, visit a new place, keep practicing that craft you love. 

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How To Plan A Healthy Schedule When You’re Super Busy

It’s no secret that I’ve been really hammering down and trying to build a simpler life…I always manage to have a lot on my plate though and that seems to be how it’s going to be for a bit yet…but I am working on organizing my life so that I can complete more tasks efficiently, add more mindfulness into my days, and focus on my main priorities first.

I’ve been de-cluttering like crazy (you can check out my Closet Clean Out Post here), working on redefining my blog and blog series to align more with my goals in life and career, and have been focusing on building a routine and more balanced days. It can be a tough gig to balance out a full time job, blog full time, focus on the launching of a boutique, and be a mom on top of everything else that falls into our laps but I’m a very determined gal!

Here’s how I planned out my goal schedule for my work week:

 

I know that I’ll have to be flexible on some days but this helps give me a good guideline to follow. On the weekends I’ll tackle chores, social and family activities and I’ll work additional blog and boutique task time in. Also will tackle classes for my Health/Life Coaching Certification on weekends. I know this all seems like a bit of a hustle but it’s what I need to do to reach my goals! If I learn to manage my time well and make the most out of it, focus on continuing to move forward, and make sure each day includes healthy habits and self-care routines then I know I’ll land on top <3

8 Key Tips To Remember When Building Your Schedule:

1.) Allow yourself some flexibility. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to move things around some to fit what’s come up for the week.

2.) Hold yourself accountable. Even if you have to move some things around, the key is to move them, not delete priorities altogether.

3.) Get rid of tasks and to-do’s that aren’t serving value to your goals or your life.

4.) Allow yourself time to rest. If you’re feeling exhausted, make a note of it. What can you adjust to ease up on yourself? I make sure to allow some down time on the weekends for myself to recuperate.

5.) Have activities that are fun or enjoyable in your schedule.

6.) Don’t negate self-care routines. Make sure there is some in each day!

7.) Make sure you are ensuring you have enough sleep. Everyone is a little different in how much sleep they need. Make sure to allow the time you need each night.

8.) Eat healthy. Food is our main source of energy. I just noticed that I don’t have breakfast on my schedule…doesn’t mean I don’t ever eat breakfast, I usually have a breakfast sandwich and cappuccino or a fruit smoothie once I get to the office while I go through my emails

Here are some other helpful posts to help you on your journey:

Here’s what a weekend looks like for me: A Day in My Life – Weekend Tasks & Bliss – Balancing Chores, Self-Care and Fun All In One Day

Creating a to-do list that you can manage –  How To Build A Better To-Do List

Tips to keep stress under control – Top Tips For Managing Stress From Wellness Bloggers With Stress Experience

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A Day in My Life – Weekend Bliss & Tasks

Get To Know Your Blogger

What’s a day in my life like? Well I make sure I have at least a little adventure in each day. I focus on finding beauty and peace in each of my days. I make sure to do at least three things to help me get closer to my goals. I include some self-care practices into every day. And I like to have a little fun each day.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page. All opinions are my own. 

Before everyone woke up, I was able to get some quiet time at the kitchen table with my planner. I used this time to work on some editorial planning for my blog while I drank my morning cup of tea. 

Well the kiddo is up…the interesting sound effects that are coming from the living room…I let my son play some video games in the morning while I worked on wrapping up some chores.

The pups take a late morning nap while I finish putting my clean clothes away. 

Finding inspiration and peace in watering my lemon tree plant. 

 

Trying out our crafty sides, my son and I made a sun-melted candle…it wasn’t too hot today though so it hasn’t melted yet but we’re looking forward to a hot day to see the finished project! 

Checked off my to-do list making all natural dog shampoo and soap for a local dog shop. 

Took a few minutes to add some ideas/blog posts to my editorial calendar…yeah I pretty much keep my computer open all day for intermittent tasks…not the best habit but it’s working for me for now. 

Post bath time pic of the pups, washed up with all natural doggie shampoo with lemon and lavender pure essential oils. 

In my thirties and I had never done the Diet Coke & Mentos Experiement. Well I can check that off my bucket list now! You can see a snippet of the go-down on YouTube here

Celebrating Memorial Day with a picnic food dinner. Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Homemade Pickles, Pasta Salad, and more, yum! 

Cookie Cake is my favorite (aside Chocolate Torte). I eat (several) small pieces to psych myself into believing I’m not actually eating almost the whole thing. 

Starting a Tarot Card Journaling Challenge this week – I’ll pull a card each day and write how it is relevant to my life and what my intentions are after considering my reading. Tarot Card Reading is a great way to pursue intuition reading and reflection. 

Back to some blogging tasks – adding tasks to my CoSchedule calender…which I am finding a blessing of a service for organizing and managing my blog. 

Some evening Yoga & Meditation to relax and decompress from the day. Shameless plug – I absolutely love the stuff I get from ProSource and love their prices too – if you’re a yogi, or even an all around fitness enthusiast, this place is worth checking out. 

Winding down with a cup of hot tea (I easily drink 5 cups of tea a day) and a movie with the fam. 

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How To Build A Better To-Do List

Ah the mighty to-do list.

I have a saying for myself that goes, “if it makes it to the to-do list it’ll get done, if it doesn’t then it gets lost.” I depend on my to-do list like a road map to my duties, so much that it can get a bit out of hand sometimes. I have been working on mastering the to-do list process for many months (okay, seriously years) and I think I’ve finally nailed down a process that is working for me. It might continue to evolve as I do but for now I think I’ve got a pretty good way to keep my mega to-do list organized.

1.) Pick up a notebook to keep all your lists and notes in. I find it so much easier to be able to keep all my scribbles together to reference when I need to. I have an 8×10 notebook with a golden pineapple on the front and lined pages that I absolutely love. I feel chic and organized lol. Here are some other great notebooks to grab: Beautiful Notebooks To Keep You Organized. 

2.) When writing out your to-do list try and group things together when possible. I can usually do pretty good with this when I’m initially writing out my list but I find things get a little scattered as I add more tasks so I color-code tasks also. For example, purple is for blog tasks, pink is for boutique launching tasks, turquoise is for paintings for upcoming shows, and black is for everything else.

3.) Highlight priority tasks. I currently have two levels of priority – yellow for high priority and pink for very near future.

4.) Review your calendar and note deadlines on your to-do list next to the corresponding task.

5.) Add some fun to-do’s like ‘schedule dinner with a friend’. This helps keep you engaged with your list, keeping it from turning into the mundane.

6.) Keep your Bucket List separate from your to-do list. You may include tasks that need to be completed to work towards setting up something for your bucket list though. For example, scheduling an appointment, booking a hotel, buying tickets, or picking up needed supplies.

7.) Use the box and cross-out method in conjunction. Check or ‘x’ the box when the task is started or in progress, cross out when complete.

8.) Re-write your list weekly, you’ll notice some things change. Some things are added, some things fall off. Keeping your to-do list up to date will help you manage the tasks and deadlines.

9.) Review your to-do list daily. I review mine three times a day – once in the morning, once mid-day and once in the evening. This helps me add things that come to mind and helps me manage what needs to be completed in that day or the next.

10.) Keep it close by. I take my notebook with me almost everywhere. If I am going somewhere I can’t take it, then I’ll write out a short list on a post it to stick in my pocket. This keeps my top priorities in front of me for the day. This also helps me to plan them into my day. For instance, if I’m going to the grocery store and need to ship I package I can map out passing a mailbox or a shipping center.

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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How To Be Productive On A Sick Day

So I found myself feeling down and out yesterday morning, less than motivated to get anything done on a very busy week. Sick days are never convenient especially for us “always keeping busy and always have something to do” types. But when your body calls for some healing time you shouldn’t ignore it. king at my to-do list, however, I knew it wasn’t a day I could give up completely to stay in bed. Luckily I have a job that I can remote into and work from home on days needed and with budget time approaching soon I couldn’t feel more blessed to have that option. I needed to create a day where I could take my sick time but also still push through some productivity and accomplish some tasks. 

How To Be Productive On A Sick Day: Tips and Tricks to Help You Take Time To Heal but Still Get Things Done

1.) Take it Easy – I chose not to shower and get dressed. I chose to save that energy for meetings later in the day. I spent the day curled up in bed behind my laptop keeping me warm and comfy. This gave me a bit of sense of security not having to face anyone in person when I wasn’t feeling my best. Write out a realistic list of tasks that you think you can accomplish throughout the day.

2.) Start Small – Take a peek at your to-do list and see what tasks range closer to the “easy” side. For me, it was tackling sponsored Facebook posts. The verbiage is basically copy and paste so I didn’t have to get much thinking going early in the morning. Chose tasks that are also self-sufficient. Like laundry, this is a chore that you can throw in the washer and then let the washer do its thing. Save any hand-washing for another day.

3.) Hydrate – make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. This will help you stay more energized and it will help flush out the toxins. I am a huge fan of tea especially when I’m not feeling well so I kept a cup of hot tea by my side most of the day.

4.) Put on Some Background Noise – For me, this meant a good Netflix binge. The background noise kept me feeling more awake to work but still relaxed enough that I didn’t feel stressed.

5.) Take Breaks – Be honest about your limits when you don’t feel good. Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Remember a sick day is about resting so you can get better. Sick days are not the days to take over the world…save that for tomorrow when you’re feeling back to par!

Bonus – Go to be early! Remember that there is always another day, “what doesn’t get done today will get done another day”.

I knew I needed to give myself some extra self-care so that I could get better but I am also one that will stress about what I’m not getting done while I’m laying in bed being sick so I curated my plan of attack so that I could find the right balance to work for myself. This isn’t to say that every sick day can have this plan…some sick days you just have to let it all go and stay in bed! 

Why It’s Important to Nurture Yourself First

This phrase has stuck with me for several years now, “The grass is greener where you water it.” 

So many times we look at others and their lives, especially with all the social media “glamour” out there nowadays, that we wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. The thing is, we don’t know their story, we don’t know what they went through to get to where they are. We cannot be anyone other than ourselves in truth but we can focus on nurturing ourselves and building our lives to be what we want and get what we want out of life. That’s where the truth comes in, that if we water our own grass we can make it the green we want it to be. If we are not taking care of our own selves and focusing on our lives then our grass will never be green and even if we were to go to another lawn, that grass would soon become dry too.

Look at your self and your life as your lawn – If you water it, feed it, take care of it, it will be healthy. If you feed it poison, allow it to be dug up, and do not give it the nutrients it needs then it will not grow, it will not flourish. This quote taught me to stop looking outward and to start looking inward. What was it in my life that I was missing? What was not fulfilling? Changes are never easy, but through reflection we can see how necessary they are. My journey has encountered much heartache and many hard choices but I came out at the other end a stronger, happier and better person. I’ve let go of toxic relationships, I’ve learned to forgive, and I’ve learned to make myself a priority. 

My tip to all is that the next time you are feeling down, beat-up, and sad – look inward – what can you change to work towards building a healthier and happier life for yourself? What can you water and nurture within yourself? Do not focus on what you do not have, take a good look at what you do have and work towards growing that. Before you know it, you’ll see things falling into place. You’ll see dreams growing in front of you. Focus within yourself and then project that out. We do not create true happiness from external circumstances, we make happiness within ourselves. 

12 Powerful Ways Meditation Benefits You

Meditation quiets the mind, opens the heart, and lets the soul speak. It is a place where we can find answers, heal our hearts, souls and minds, and a place where we can find peace away from the chaos of our worlds. 

– Helps you with focus and awareness.

– Helps you manage stress and anxiety.

– Increases your energy levels.

– Clears you mind.

– Teaches  patience, discipline, and self-control.

– Can increase your creativity.

– Improves sleep.

– Makes you happier.

– Teaches you how to control your breath.

– Helps you manage pain better.

– Increases self-discovery and self-awareness.

– It strengthens your senses.

Meditation can come in many forms. 

12 Ways I Meditate:

-Sitting still for moments and focusing on only my breath-

-During Yoga-

-Art Journaling-

-Earthing-

-Laying with my crystals placed and listening to meditation music-

-Singing along to my favorite songs-

-Moon Bathing-

-Coloring Mandalas-

-Laying in the grass looking at the sky-

-Guided Meditation Series-

-Mountain Pose in the shower-

-Painting-

How to Stay Motivated & My Top TED Talks for Motivation

Sometimes I need a little help getting motivated, a little kick in the butt to get back to tasks. I have found TED Talks to be extremely inspiring and motivating. They speak truth, they speak action, they speak change. A key way to keep motivated to work towards your goals is to surround yourself with motivation and positive thoughts of change.

  1. Surround yourself with positive, motivated people.
  2. Post motivational quotes at your desk, in your planner, and in your room.
  3. Read an affirmation every morning.
  4. Listen to music while you work or clean.
  5. Read motivational books and listen to motivational podcasts.

My Top TED Talks for when I Need Motivation

  1. The Art of Being Yourself by Caroline McHugh
  2. How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over by Mel Robbins
  3. The Power of Vulnerability by Brene’ Brown
  4. The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong by Amy Morin
  5. Your Elusive Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. Lessons from the Mental Hospital by Glennon Doyle Melton
  7. Listening to Shame by Brene’ Brown
  8. The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain

Inspiration & Motivation For When It’s Tough To Keep Going

I was browsing through some old posts, doing my monthly reflecting thing, and I came across this one. I wrote it in September of 2014, a true turning point in my life. With Easter soon here, it brings thoughts to mind of hope and new beginnings, a thought of how true pain can bring upon us glorious resurrection. I can’t say that my life became easy, or that heartache stopped to exist in my life after this turning point, and maybe some days I still don’t take it in the best stride, but I do come back from it every time, stronger than I was before. I can’t help but imagine that I am being trained for something so much greater out of this life. In the last three years, I’ve suffered more loss and held greater heartaches but I will not give up hope ever. I refuse to believe that life is anything other than a gift, that our suffering is anything other than lessons. I refuse to roll over and lay. My spirituality has shifted some as I grow but my core beliefs remain the same and I still believe. 

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I have experienced many trials, challenges, and heartaches in my life (so far) but I do not look back at them with regret or resentment.  A couple of years ago when my ex left me three months before our wedding I was crushed, the very center I had built my future around had been shattered. Though I didn’t know it then, I had been saved. When my Grandmother passed away, I was deeply saddened, but with that sadness I found strength and courage. When my son was angry and told me he hated me I felt as if my heart had been pierced but it gave me focus and motivation to show him how much I loved him, to be a better Mother.
We will all have tragedies in our lives. Some we bring on ourselves, some that are dealt to us, but do not look at them as defeat, for there is no such thing as defeat. These are just twists in our path.

If it wasn’t for my heartaches, for the challenges I overcame then I wouldn’t be where I am today, or who I am today (or have the relationships I have today). Some hurdles I soared over, some I barely climbed but I can say with pride and boast that I survived them, I survived. The Universe does not break our lives but will always be there to give us strength to survive. We will be given the tools to rebuild. Life will always have tests – tests of strength,  tests of courage, and tests of faith.
Having faith isn’t about knowing what the outcome will be, it is about trusting that in the end it will all be well. I used to have a close friend that would always say, “It will be okay and if it’s not okay, then it is not the end”. Those words still linger in my mind. I truly believe that we are placed (or sometimes walk ourselves into) situations so that we may grow, that we may better ourselves. Ten years ago I didn’t have that same belief, I thought the world was against me. But then I learned some valuable advice – what makes us strong, what makes us happy, and what makes us wise is not what happens to us but it is in how we  react to it. I choose to be happy, therefore I am.

I don’t know what all will happen tomorrow but I do know that I will have faith to make it through and that I will come out a better person because of it.

I Choose to be, Therefore I am.