Remember to Breathe

>> Sunday, January 9, 2011

just breathe

Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe... just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe

~ Anna Nalick, Breathe (2am)

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You Hold the Key to Your Happiness

>> Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Key, originally uploaded by lydiafairy

The key to your happiness you hold in your hands
Though others may try to claim control
You know your talents; you know your dreams
You understand the passions that breathe life into your soul

Take that key and unlock the door
And walk into a new life on the other side
Over that threshold a new adventure may await
Your happiness is certain; it cannot be denied

Remember to be grateful for the life you build
And the dreams that became your inspiration
Be thankful for the hope and joy you find
And the gift of courage and determination

Share with others the simple truth
Our happiness is what we want it to be
If we take the key and open the door
We break out of self-made prisons and set ourselves free


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Organize This, Organize That

>> Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Getting organized is one of the top five New Year's resolutions people make."
~Standolyn Robertson, president of the National Association of Professional Organizers
Did you make a resolution to get organized this year? I think the majority of us make this resolution in one way or another. My resolution was to set up household routines and stick to them so that I can have more fun. Part of that will be getting things organized, so yeah, I made that resolution too. :) I can certainly understand why so many of us make these types of resolutions. The new year symbolizes a "fresh start." And our external environment is often a reflection of our internal environment - a cluttered home (or work space) reflects a cluttered mind.

Since January is National Get-Organized Month, I thought I would list some tips and tools for getting organized.

Lighten Up: Feng shui experts have found that well-lit areas tend to have less clutter. Look around your home and see if this is true for you. I know it is for me! If it's cloudy or dark in the house I feel like I can get by with doing less - I don't see the dust and mess as clear as I would if it were bright in the house. Add some brighter lamps, open up the curtains - let the sun shine in.

A Home for Loose Items: We all have these areas in our homes, they tend to be the hot spots - where we set all the little things that seem to float around the house (magazines, remotes, keys). Find a basket for each type of item so that it will have a home - other than the flat surface you are trying to keep clean.

Store items close to where they are used: Does your family play games in the living room? Set a nearby shelf or closet aside to store them. Do you craft? Think about setting up a crafting area near where you craft. Storing items close to where we use them increases the likely hood that they will be put away when we are finished with them.

Websites: There are a ton of organizational websites out there for your use. Here a  few that I use on a regular basis.
  • Organized Home - Clean House, Cut Clutter, Get Organized at Home!
  • Flylady - Creating routines, decluttering, cleaning by zones all 15 minutes at a time. Flylady's system is done using a Household Notebook. I personally love the notebook but I pick and choose what I use from the Flylady site. It doesn't all work for me.
  • My Messy House - I use this for my Weekly House Blessing (Flylady term). Flylady has WHB on hour a week, that's impossible for me no matter how hard I try. So I use the My Messy House plan to do my WHB one room (lucky room of the day) per day (Monday - Friday).
  • S.H.E.'s Organized - This is the home of Pam Young and Peggy Jones' Sidetracked Home Executives™ household management system. This is where I started. I am a proud SHE. This system is often referred to as being "in the box". It's set up with 3x5 cards and a box holder. I have incorporated a lot of Pam & Peggy's system into my Household Notebook.
Apps: I am sure there are a lot more apps and computer programs you can use for helping you get organized but here are just a few I use or have tried.
  • Google Calendar - You can use this in place of a household notebook. I also have a few friends that use Outlook instead of a notebook. 
  • Cozi - This is a free online organizer (there is also a free mobile app). You can use it for appointments, lists, blogging and you can share with family members online too!
  • Home Routines - This an app for the itouch/iphone. This is one of my favorite organizational apps. I love this app. I have recommended this app to a few friends on Twitter too and they have loved it too. It is one app that is absolutely worth buying. One friend bought an itouch just to download this app. :)
  • Awesome Note - This is another app for the itouch/iphone/ipad. I just downloaded it this weekend and I love this app as well. There are so many things you can do with this app - it's amazing. It ranks right up there with the Home Routines app and I've only had it about 3 days. 
So go have some fun getting organized this year! Remember this though - motivation follows action. Don't let yourself stop you from reaching your goals. Waiting for the motivation to strike or waiting until (insert whatever you are waiting for) often results in never reaching our goals. Vision what you want and then just go for it! Once you start working towards your goal, you'll be surprised how much motivation you will find to continue. Progress not perfection - life, organizing, loving ourselves -it's all a journey!

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting and staying organized? I'd love to hear them!


Photo here

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Menu Plan Monday - January 2 - 8

>> Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome to my first Menu of 2011! Wow! It's hard to believe another brand new year has started. Hopefully (crossing my fingers) I will be very diligent this year about consistently posting my menu plan. I always make a menu but posting...well...that hasn't been my strong point. :)

So enough with the chatting let's get to the menu!

Please note - I use organic, local ingredients when possible. Also the recipes usually call for all- purpose flour. I usually use a mix of 1/2 whole wheat & 1/2 white or just all whole wheat. Remember a recipe is just something to go by, feel free to change them up for health/your family's tastes.

Healthy Eating Menu for Mommy{Sunday - Saturday}

  • Sunday: 1 cup oatmeal, 2 TB slivered almonds, 2 TB raw pumpkin seeds, 2 TB dried cranberries, 1 cup almond mylk.
  • Monday: 2 slices Ezekiel bread toasted, 1 boiled egg, 2 tsp butter, 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Tuesday: 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean, 1/2 cup almond mylk, 1 pear
  • Wednesday: 1 Ezekiel English Muffin, 2 TB natural peanut butter, small orange
  • Thursday:  2 slices Ezekiel bread toasted, 1 scrambled egg, 2 tsp butter, 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Friday: 3/4 cup Kashi Go Lean, 1/2 cup almond mylk, 1/2 cup strawberries
  • Saturday: 2 egg omelet with mushrooms & peppers, 1 slice Ezekiel toast, 1 tsp butter, small orange
AM Snack: 
  • Sunday: 10 raw almonds, 1 clementine
  • Monday: Yogurt cup , 1 cup blueberries
  • Tuesday: 10 raw almonds, 1 cup grapes
  • Wednesday: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup pineapple
  • Thursday: 10 raw almonds, small banana
  • Friday: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup mixed fruit
  • Saturday: Yogurt cup, 1 cup blackberries
  • Sunday: Homemade Soup & Salad
  • Monday: Hummus & veggie wrap or sandwich
  • Tuesday: Glop Bowl (Couple cups of baby spinach, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup beans & salsa)
  • Wednesday: Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Thursday: Glop Bowl (Couple cups of baby spinach, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup beans & salsa)
  • Friday: Hummus & veggie wrap or sandwich
  • Saturday: Homemade Soup & Salad
PM Snack:
Toddler Menu {Monday - Friday}

  • Monday: Yogurt & monkey platter (variety plate of cut up fruits)
  • Tuesday: Whole grain organic frozen waffle, pears and 1/4 cup milk
  • Wednesday: scrambled egg, cinnamon toast squares (whole grain bread lightly toasted)
  • Thursday: French toast, peaches, and 1/4 cup milk
  • Friday: Organic oatmeal, fruit and 1/4 cup milk
Mid-Morning Snack:
  • Monday: Orange Wedges & 1/4 cup milk
  • Tuesday: Banana &  1/4 cup milk
  • Wednesday: Zucchini bread &  1/4 cup milk
  • Thursday: Yogurt & animal crackers
  • Friday: Fruit slices & 1/4 cup milk
  • Monday: Homemade chicken nuggets & oven fries, blueberries & 1/4 cup milk
  • Tuesday: Healthy Baby's First Pizza, soft cooked veggie sticks & 1/4 cup milk
  • Wednesday: Pasta in tomato sauce, cheese dough sticks, diced fruit & 1/4 cup milk
  • Thursday: Macaroni & Cheese, strawberries & 1/4 cup milk
  • Friday: Small Monkey Platter & 1/4 cup milk
Afternoon Snack:
  • Monday: yogurt & graham cracker
  • Tuesday: Monkey Platter (can be shared with big kids after school)
  • Wednesday: Toast with peanut butter & 1/4 cup milk
  • Thursday: Orange slice & 1/4 cup milk
  • Friday: Raisin Oatmeal Cookie & 1/4 cup milk
Regular Cooked Menu {Monday - Friday}

  • Monday: Oatmeal, juice or milk
  • Tuesday: Waffles, juice or milk
  • Wednesday: Homemade fruit bread, yogurt, juice or milk
  • Thursday: Oatmeal, juice or milk
  • Friday:  Scrambled egg sandwich, juice or milk
  • Monday: Sub sandwiches, veggies & dip {holiday}
  • Tuesday: Whole wheat bagel sandwiches, potato salad, veggies & dip, fruit, juice & water
  • Wednesday: Leftovers, apple slices, veggies & dip, fruit bread, juice & water
  • Thursday: California Roll-up, orange wedges, veggies & dip, fruit bread, juice & water
  • Friday:  Pizza Roll-Up, yogurt, veggie sticks & pieces of fruit, juice & water
  • Sunday: Leftovers
  • Monday: Spaghetti Supper @ friends
  • Tuesday:  Crock Pot Pork Roast with veggies
  • Wednesday: Kielbasa & potato skillet (saurkraut instead of potatoes for me)
  • Thursday: Honey Soy Stir Fried Chicken, Brown Rice & Roast Broccoli
  • Friday:  Homemade Pizza & Salad 
  • Saturday: Homemade Chicken & Noddle Soup, Salad.
Need more menu planning ideas? Then head over to Laura's @ I'm an Organizing Junkie for at least a 100 more links to great menus!

Organizing Junkie

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Not Pretty and That's Okay!

>> Sunday, January 2, 2011

The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.
“You will be pretty intelligent, 
pretty creative, 
pretty amazing. 
But you, will never be merely 'pretty'.”
~Katie Makkai

I love listening to this poem by Katie Makkai.  I have probably listened to it at least 10-15 times, since the first time I heard it. The words are so true. As women, society as a whole puts a lot of pressure on us to be pretty. I have never felt pretty as far back as I can remember and this poem helped me realize it's okay not to be pretty. It's more than okay. Why should I want to be just pretty? I am so much more than pretty. It's easy to get down on ourselves about our looks - I hope this poem will help you realize being 'pretty' isn't really as worthy of a goal as we might think in the moment. 

I'm working on falling in love with myself. That means loving me for who I am and not what I think I look like. I know I am my own worst critic. I hope that if you need it, this post can help you work towards loving yourself more too. If we can't love ourselves how can we really love anyone else the way they should be loved? We owe it to ourselves to fall in love with ourselves. 


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A New Beginning

>> Saturday, January 1, 2011

Every beginning has an end
Here we are at the start of a brand new year. I've been thinking about the end of 2010 and the start of a new year for a couple of weeks. There is something about a new year that is exciting to me. It's like an unopened book and I can't wait to see what is going to happen. 

I don't know about you but every year I've set New Year's Resolutions only to fail the same day or to start off strong and fade off a few weeks later.  This year I've decided to take a different approach. I'm going to set some intentions and keep in mind I have the whole year (and the rest of my life really) to make these intentions a reality. I'm really starting to understand that life really is a journey. I'm never going to fully arrive. You know what I mean? There is never going to be a day where I am able to say "okay, well I love myself enough now I don't need to work on that anymore". But to think that every day I can work on loving myself more and more; I can work on being a healthier me every single day; I can become a better mom & wife every day. Wow! What a journey this can will be!

My vision board created at Digital Dreamboard

Goals & Intentions for 2011

Physical Health & Fitness
  1.  Make good self-honoring choices when it comes to food
  2. Practice mindful eating
  3. *work on establishing a healthy relationship with food
  4. Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day
  5. *yoga *wii game *walk
  6. Go to sleep at a reasonable hour (10pm Every day)
Spiritual Health
  1. Make time for myself every day to take a hot bath or meditate
  2. Read a book or watch a movie each week that inspires me to think, feel, or do.
  3. Write morning pages
  4. *Complete The Artist’s Way
  5. Set a daily intention
  6. Read morning message from Good Morning
  7. Start a notebook with my favourite quotes
  8. (Emerson instructed us to “Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your reading have been to you like the blast of triumph out of Shakespeare, Seneca, Moses, John and Paul.”)
Personal Growth
  1. Set up & follow household routines; so I will have more time for fun
  2. Work towards establishing my self-worth/fall in love with myself
  3. Date myself for 1 hour every week
Family Goals
  1. Spend less time online in the evenings
  2. Plan activities for us to do as a family for fun (1 day or evening a week)
  3. *Dinner & a Movie *Local family outings *Family game night *Ask kids for ideas
  4. Complete the 20 Days to Being a More Mindful Mother blog challenge
Relationship with Spouse
  1. Complete the Love Dare
  2. Plan time to spend together alone to concentrate on building our relationship
  3. *Date night (out or at home)
  4. Practice really listening without rushing to judgement
  5. Practice communicating effectively
Goals for Fun!
  1. Blog every day (either on main blog and/or one of the sub-blogs)
  2. *Work on building my blog(s) *Comment on at least 5 blogs every day *Set up a blog routine & be able to have blogs in draft for future posting
  3. 365 Project – take a picture daily & put on Flicker
  4. Craft – Set aside time each week to create
  5. *get enough stuff made up to open up an store
Financial Goals
  1. Create & Follow a budget
  2. Think about money in abundance
Business Goals
  1. Enter accounting weekly
  2. Set up monthly in-store classes
  3. Create website for the store
  4. Be more active on social networking sites
Did you set any new year intentions? I'd love to hear about them! Happy New Year!!


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