Time Management Strategies for Overwhelmed Moms

Many moms receive the moniker of “Wonder Woman” because it seems like they can juggle a million
different tasks effortlessly. Of course, the truth is that you’re at your wits end. While you are more or
less getting by, you might start to find that the many tasks you take on in a day are not receiving your
full attention, leading to blunders that could be potentially disastrous. Yup, moms are definitely a busy,
multitasking lot. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to manage your time more effectively, reducing
stress and making for a happier household (and a happier you). Here are a few tips to try at your leisure,
and most will produce more leisure time.

1. Learn to say no. For most moms, this is easier said than done. You may be able to say no to your
kids when they want to go out for ice cream, but it can be a bit more difficult to turn down your
sister when she asks you to sit for her kids (what’s the problem – can’t they just play with your
kids?) or your church group when they call on you to provide your famous brownies for the bake
sale. But when it comes to time management, saying no is an absolute imperative. You don’t have
to give excuses and you don’t have to feel guilty. Your family is your priority and they have to
come before other obligations. By the way, you are also a priority, and don’t forget it.

2. Embrace imperfection. When you were living single, you might have enjoyed a spotless home.
But now you have kids, so it’s time to accept that sometimes a job half done is good enough. Being
a perfectionist just doesn’t work when it comes to running a home that houses a family. So instead
of checking for water spots on the faucet each night, content yourself with wiping the crumbs off
the counter and calling it good.

3. Get organized. No matter what you cut out or how you cut corners, there’s still a lot to do
when you’re a mom. So it behooves you to have some structure in place. The easiest way to get
organized is with a schedule. This will ensure that you are aware of all your daily obligations (and
those of your kids) so that you don’t end up overlapping activities. If you’re often on the go, think
about using a time management app for your smartphone that offers a calendar, checklists, and
reminder alerts. One great option is Wunderlist (Apple, Android, Windows), a freebie that helps
you sort daily task.

4. Delegate. Just because you wear many hats doesn’t mean you are beholden to your kids. The timemanagement definition necessarily includes management, so don’t hesitate to employ your kids in
this cause. Even at a young age they can help you by making beds, choosing outfits, and picking
up toys. And as they get older they can tackle household chores to help free up some time for you.

5. Make some time for yourself. You’re always the last one on your list, but when it comes to time
management techniques the worst thing you can do is leave no breadcrumbs for yourself. If you
don’t want to let stress get the best of you it’s important to see to your own needs once in a while,
even if that means dumping the kids on your spouse, your parents, or even a paid sitter so you can
grab coffee with a girlfriend, get a manicure, or do something that’s just for you. It will help to
keep you calm, focused, and energized for the hard work of raising a family.


Pin It

@SmartSilk Pillows- Review and Contest

I am going to apologize in advance- this will be something that bothers you this evening. Sorry.
I thought my pillows were not so good anymore when we started supplementing our bedroom pillow with a small couch pillow. But once we got the new SmartSilk pillows, we noticed the non-fluffy-ness of our old pillows. Their inability to keep firm enough to hold our heads. With these new SmartSilk pillows, it is a much nicer sleep. The pillows are soft and fluffy. Like sleeping on a pillow of clouds after sleeping on a pillow of pudding. Once switched over, there was no turning back.

These new pillows are made by SmartSilk. SmartSilk specializes in all natural non chemical treating bedding made of silk which will help with people who suffers from bed mite allergies.

For those who suffer it is not pretty, imagine sneezing, coughing puffy eyes, while sleeping, or rather not sleeping. Its not fun. Ever since Little Man came around I have been a spring/fall allergy sufferer, so I know this stinks.
I would suggest getting a new pillow for yourself asap. SmartSilk are great- super fluffy, not too firm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Pin It

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas on a Budget

If you’re looking for remodeling ideas that will give you the best return on your investment when it comes
time to sell your home (not to mention making your space more beautiful and functional in the interim)
then a kitchen overhaul is one of your best options. This common room is utilized by the entire household
and many buyers see it as a pivotal space for family togetherness. So whether you gut it and start from
scratch or opt for a cosmetic facelift, you’ll likely increase your own satisfaction with your home as well
as the resale value of your property in the process. And incredibly, you can undertake some amazing
upgrades even on a budget. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Let’s go from the ground up, literally, by starting with flooring. Laminates, linoleums, and faux stone
may seem like the best deal, and in many cases these options can offer not only a good price but also a
warranty of some sort (which is a good deal for kitchens, considering the number of spills that occur in
this room). However, you may also want to consider second-hand options like reclaimed hardwood or
natural stone; in many ways these may be better than going faux. For example, they can cost as little
as (or even less than) than their artificial counterparts while offering you the beautiful and desirable
products you crave. In addition, choosing these items is better for the environment because it requires no
additional manufacturing and it keeps old (but still usable) flooring out of the landfill. And P.S., reclaimed
hardwood cabinetry and stone countertops are also an option you may want to pursue to save money
while creating your gorgeous new kitchen.

So now you’ve got some ideas for the foundational pieces in your space, but what about everything else?
You’re probably not too keen on the idea of second-hand appliances. The thing is you don’t necessarily
need to replace everything in order to upgrade your space. Perhaps new flooring and countertops are
enough, or maybe re-facing (or simply painting or staining) cabinets will give you the new look you want.
And if you’ve already got a matching set of energy-star appliances, there’s no real reason to replace them.
If, however, you’re stuck with a fridge and stove that were manufactured before you were born, perhaps
you could do with something new. But how can you get these items for less? While you can certainly wait
for big holiday sales, you might not save that much. So think about frequenting sites like Craigslist. You
might be surprised at the items you find in practically perfect condition for a lot less than the price of new.

But there’s more, and when it comes to putting the finishing touches on your new kitchen you can do a lot
for a little if you adopt a DIY attitude. Believe it or not, installing a sink, fixtures, lighting, and even a tile
backsplash are all projects you can tackle on your own with a little help from a home repair guide. While
you may balk at tampering with the plumbing or installing mahogany, bamboo, or Ipe wood flooring,
there are plenty of tasks that you should be able to complete on your own, saving you tons of dough when
you decide to spruce up your kitchen space.


Pin It

Sound Asleep Room-Darkening Curtains

When it comes to the lighting in your home, obviously, more windows mean more light, but also more places to drafts to come in through. Or even the dreaded stray beam of light on the first Sunday in months you are able to sleep in. This evil sliver of sunlight will creep across your face at 7:01 a mere minute after your normal wake up time. Its sole purpose is to awaken your deep slumber, doing nothing more then standing still over your eye lids. The most dastardly enemy of stray light beams and drafts? Good curtains. Good curtains make all the difference on a windy, bitter winter night or particularly bright mornings.

Check out the Open and Closed visuals.

Think of a good curtain as a blanket for your windows. Not just something pretty to ornament the windows with, but also an easy way to cut those utility bills. Be it gas/oil/wood in the winter or electricity running those all important air conditioners in the summer. Check out the Room Darkening Series by Sound Asleep. These curtains are so good at insulating the room not only in terms of temperature but also light and sound that they are the official curtain of the National Sleep Foundation. Also, their light dampening abilities are stupendous. You won’t even know if it is night or day if they are closed. Another great feature is, no one can tell if you are home or not. So this can deter less then honorable guests who may wish to forcibly enter your home through a window. I am also assuming trying to navigate a room you haven’ t seen before with a dog in it is not satisfactory either. (haha)

Side note! I get terrible migraines, and I LOVE these because they help keep the room really and truly dark- and I would never recommend something to a migraine sufferer that didn’t truly work. These are great for that reason alone- and also because I do like to sleep past the crack of dawn if I can! LOL. But honestly- just for the fact that they can blacken a room, there is not a reason I wouldn’t recommend these curtains. If you get migraines- these are a must have.

The curtains come in four sizes and ten colors. The valences also come in two different styles, Back tab and Ascot.


Pin It

How to Make Your Backyard More Kid Friendly

With the current generation of youngsters more technologically connected than ever before, using
iPods, smart phones and video games at unprecedented levels, many parents are searching for ways
to encourage healthy outdoor activities for their children. Creating a vibrant, exciting and kid friendly
backyard for your little ones to enjoy is the perfect way to nudge them away from sedentary video
screens and towards an active lifestyle. No matter what size your home’s backyard happens to be, there
are plenty of convenient and inexpensive ways to transform a fenced off patch of grass into an oasis of
fun and adventure for your family.

When you first begin envisioning a more kid friendly backyard, your first inclination may be to fill it to
the brim with toys, jungle gyms and swing sets. In actuality, carving out nooks and crannies of empty
space is the best way to go because the room to play and run around is essential. Of course, a selection
of hands on components like slides and swings are always welcomed, but be sure to spread your
stations out so that open space is always accentuated. One of the easiest ways to create the illusion
of space in cramped backyards is to turn the fences into windows to a new world. If you are artistically
inclined, spend a weekend with the kids painting the backyard fences according to their favorite themes.
You can create a cowboy themed Western landscape, surround the yard with your child’s favorite
cartoon characters or simply paint a scenic landscape to stimulate their imaginations.

A family garden in the corner of your backyard is another creative way to encourage your child to
spend time outside. With a pocket of beautiful flowers and vegetables growing through the spring and
summer, your kids will love contributing to the garden in their own ways. Teach them to plant seeds
and water them, watching all the while for the miracle of life to develop. A well maintained garden will
also quickly become a center of natural wonders, with honey bees buzzing to and fro from flower to
flower, grasshoppers and other critters crawling around and even birds dropping by to visit. Planting
and harvesting can become an annual tradition which will quickly become a way of life for your children,
showing them the true value of the natural world around them.

Purchasing a set of playground equipment can be a great way to get your kids away from the television
and out into the world. From a simple slide to a tire hung from a tree limb, the games we all enjoyed at
recess during our youth are just as enjoyable for kids today. You can locate affordable jungle gyms and
other playground favorites on Craigslist or eBay, which means creating a fun filled backyard experience
doesn’t have to break the bank. When your kids see a shiny new swing set in the backyard waiting for
them, the virtual reality of video games just won’t seem so appealing anymore.

Pin It

Growing Family? What to Look for in a New Home

Whether you’re currently renting a home, you may be looking for an upgrade when you find your family
expanding. Kids and pets certainly take up space in and of themselves, but they also come with a lot of
detritus like beds, toys, clothing, and so on. This can quickly turn your house into a storage unit that is
busting at the seams. But even in this current market it can be difficult to find the home you’re looking
for. Sure the monthly rates are great, but the market is so saturated with properties that you may not
know quite where to begin. So if you’re interested in starting your home search but you’re feeling
overwhelmed, here are a few tips to get you on track to the home of your dreams.

For starters you need to go into the process with a clear idea of what you want. You likely have some
basics in mind, but let’s start with the size of your house. Considering that the reason you’re looking
to make a move is that your growing family needs the space, the question of size is of the utmost
importance. You don’t just want adequate space for your current family; you may also want to consider
the probability that you’ll need more room down the line. For example, you could look for a three-
bedroom home for you, your spouse, and your two kids, but you might do better getting an extra
bedroom or two now that can serve as an office, guest room, or play room but transform into another
bedroom should babies three and four make their way into your home.

Of course, price is also a major consideration. In a way, you’re lucky to be looking in a recession
economy because the housing costs are so low. In any case, you’ll be able to get a lot more for your
money than you would have just a few years ago. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to sift
through the duds to find the perfect home. The trick is to create a list of amenities you want in order to
narrow down the number of properties in your price range that match up.

Finally, you’ll want to consider added value. Especially important to most parents is the school district
the home is in, as well as access to amenities like emergency services, library, post office, shopping,
parks, entertainment, and areas of interest like museums, for example. Of course, drawbacks like crime
or the proclivity for natural disasters (flooding, pollution etc) will also play a role, which can vary widely
from place to place. Adults can rent homes in Bristol, Boston, or Bombay forever without buying. So
think about what you want and what you can afford going in so that you can find a home that will suit
your needs for years to come.

Pin It

High-Tech Office Décor for the Work-at-Home Mom

When you think of décor for your home office, the term “high-tech” may not be your first priority. And
yet, items that do double duty by being both functional and attractive are certainly more appealing than
a bunch of equipment that makes your space look more like a starship than a room in your home. And
often, the term high-tech comes with a connotation of compact size, which is great for the mom that
doesn’t have a lot of space to spare, what with toys underfoot and craft supplies filling every cubby. So
if you’re looking for a few ways to update your office space while you work from home, here are a few
high-tech décor solutions that just might suit your needs (both practically and aesthetically).

The first thing you’ll probably want to consider is furniture, and you might be scratching your head over
how it can be high-tech. For starters, there are computer desks, which come with plenty of storage,
spaces designed for basic computing elements, and built-in channels to corral your many cables. And
you should also look into ergonomic solutions. Since you’re likely to spend quite a bit of time in your
home office, you should have an ergonomic chair and possibly even a keyboard to ensure that your body
is in proper alignment. This will correct your posture and help you avoid physical ailments related to
sitting at a desk all day.

Next you should think about a computer. This is the main piece of equipment you’ll need to do
your work. And your best bet is a laptop. It has all the power of your average PC these days and it
is compact, lightweight, portable, and easy to store out of sight. Plus, modern laptops have tons of
options for connectivity (both wirelessly and through multiple ports) so that you can easily hook them
up to a printer, a cable modem, or an external hard drive for additional storage. You should also
consider a portable printer, a webcam (if your laptop doesn’t already have one) and a smart phone as
high-tech necessities for the modern home office.

And if you’re worried about keeping tabs on the kids, consider a smart home security system (like those
offered by Vivint) that allows you to monitor kids via surveillance cameras and even control the lights,
the thermostat, electronics (like the TV), and the home alarm system, all from your computer or smart
phone. Let’s face it: there are times when you just have to get some work done, and this system can
help you keep an eye on the kids while you do it.

Of course, hardware won’t get you far without attendant software to make it worthwhile. So if you’re
thinking of web design, for example, there’s no need to bust out Word Pad and learn HTML. There are
programs to do it for you! You can even find software that allows your smart phone to interact with
the various programs that are running on your desktop in case you want a connection on the go. And if
you need to interface with fax machines, you don’t have to get another bulky piece of equipment, just
employ a fax2email program on your computer. A high-tech home office could be filled to the brim with
the latest gadgets, but without the software solutions that make them work for you, they’ll be nothing
more than space-age décor.

Pin It

Home Decorating Tips for a Warm and Cozy Winter

When the cold months of winter start to set in, with shorter days, longer nights, and biting winds that
makes you long to wrap your hands around a warm mug of cocoa, you may find yourself going into
hibernation mode. You’ll likely have trouble getting out of bed in the morning and you’ll want nothing
more than to come home and snuggle up under your favorite down comforter or drink some wine and
eat some cheese with your honey next to a blazing fire. Or perhaps your fondest wish is to settle down
on the couch with the family, pop some corn, and watch a few holiday flicks. The point is, much of the
winter will be spent indoors, which means you’ll likely want a home that is warm and cozy. So here are
just a few decorating tips to create the perfect space to wait out the winter.

1. Pillows and throws. Unless you want to pay beaucoup bucks to heat your house, you’re likely
going to lock the thermostat at a temperature that is a little chilly for most people. But since
you can only pile on so many sweaters and socks, it behooves you to create some areas for
members of your household to nest. This is where fluffy pillows and fuzzy throws enter the
picture, and you should have plenty handy in cupboards, bins, and baskets around the house.
As for color, you can’t go wrong with winter white (it gets dirty, but cleans up well with bleach)
or a bright accent color that goes with your décor. Various shades of green are always nice
when there’s no greenery outside.

2. Door draft stops. While you can certainly add some weather stripping for exterior doors or
place practical rubber draft stops under entryways, you can use your drafty house as an excuse
for some cute (yet functional) accessorizing. Decorative draft stoppers (for interior doors) are
often colorful and whimsical (although you can definitely find some that are simply a solid-
colored tube). They may come in the shape of animals (often snakes) or you might prefer pretty
colors or patterns. But when doors are closed, these cute items of décor will ensure that the
heat stays in.

3. Candles. Nothing says cozy like the flickering light of a candle, so find ways to incorporate these
alternate light sources into your space. They can set the mood for an intimate dinner, a low-key
holiday party, or a night of reading seasonal stories by the fire, and if the power goes out you’ll
be glad you have them.

4. Centerpieces and displays. You may think you need to place a seasonal display on every surface,
from the dining room table to the sideboard to the standing desks in the office. But the truth
is, less is more when it comes to décor. You don’t have to go all minimalist, but one big display
will have a lot more impact than several smaller ones scattered all over the house (which can
just look like clutter). A modern option is to fill a hurricane glass with colorful ornaments and
ribbon, but if you want a more traditional or rustic look, collect some pine cones and cut a
couple of branches from a pine tree in your yard to place in a bowl.

5. Consider your furnishings. Whether your everyday decorating style leans towards French
antiquity or mid century modern furniture (or anything in between), it’s important to stick
to your aesthetic when it comes to adding seasonal décor. So if your space is ultra-modern,
skip the old-timey decorations. And if your style is more eclectic, search for décor that is
understated so it won’t compete with key pieces.

Pin It