Tips on Becoming An Intentional Mom

12
Apr
2016

Tips on Becoming An Intentional Mom

Over the past month, I have had to take some time to really evaluate my time management – especially with regard to my role as a mother.

I am in this very strange season of life (or maybe they are all really strange and unique!). I have grown kids – one who is out of the home and one who is in college – and a step-son who lives with us part-time and then a six year old. There are days of the week I am not sure who will show up for dinner, let alone what my schedule and focus needs to be.

As a work at home mom of two businesses, I found myself using this as an excuse to avoid and often brush off my responsibilities as a mother and a homemaker. Yes, I am ashamed to admit it, but it is the truth. I have the type of personality which loves having a purpose – and I had focused my purpose in the wrong direction. I was focusing most of my energy on others outside my home.

Maybe you don’t have a home business or work outside the home or even have more than one child, but I can tell you that being intentional with our time or tasks and especially our hearts is critical in our role at home.

Here are some things I’ve incorporated in the last month which has helped me re-focus and be more intentional.

Taking a Sabbath

I had heard a lot about this concept, but it wasn’t until I was really focusing on some personal development in some key areas in my business, that I discovered how out of balance my life was. I had a wake-up call in my personal life and this FREE book was a game changer for me. I realized that not only my body but my mind must have a break from the every day life that I was living.

The Bible talks about taking a Sabbath weekly. I encourage you to look into this if you are experiencing a lack of joy, peace, feeling overworked, and your spirit is dry. I also read this short book – Do No Work: Beat Burnout, Find Inner Peace, and Strengthen Your Faith by Studying the Most Overlooked of the Ten Commandments by Andrew Gilmore. It was inspiring and helped me grab hold of this concept.

Keeping a Planner

Okay, so I have to admit – I am only on my first week of this system, but it has changed the flow of my days for the better! I love my Weekly Household Planner for home tasks, but I needed something to help me focus and schedule my time as a mom, wife, business owner, friend, and create space for self-care. This Passion Planner has done it! Here is a snapshot of my planner for this week.

My Passion Planner

I have structured my time in a way that I get many tasks completed, but there is also white space and dedicated time for the things that matter: family, marriage, kids, self-care, and work. Loved using my erasable pens and Washi tape – I will get more creative as I proceed!

We all need routine and structure to our day. I thought I could house this “routine” all inside my head – but I was wrong. This method is so helpful for me – to see it visually.

Daily Quiet Time

I speak of this often and it is critical to the success of my day. I am getting up regularly between 5:30 – 6:00 AM in order to read my Bible and do some journaling. I just got this amazing book, Quieting Your Heart: 6-Month Bible-Study Journal. Have you seen it? I will be sharing more on this in a separate blog post. I love using my YouVersion Bible App as well as the First 5 App, and I am currently reading, The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I work through a different devotional each year and I love this one.

Having Fun

This one is a hard one for me, but I am slowly breaking out of my shell! I can often be too serious, too engrossed in my “busy tasks”, to take time to have fun. So, even though I am not much of a game lover, I am trying to set aside that time to play silly games with my six year old. I also have a hard time reading books that my little guy enjoys, but I am being intentional in taking that time to sit and be with him and connecting in a way that he will enjoy.

We went on our first family hike two weeks ago, on one of our Sabbath days, and my six year old loved it. As I plan my days in the upcoming weeks I will be putting some hikes on our Fridays. Fridays are a no-school day for us and can get a bit boring. I was typically trying to work on Friday, but I think it will be better to schedule my work on the others days and have a space open for fun. It’s a win for everyone.

What are areas you struggle with? Can you think of one thing you can focus on during the next few weeks to help you push into an intentional mindset? I realize we are all busy and we all have “things” that keep us busy, but we can also use a lot of excuses to avoid what we need to focus on. That was me, using a lot of excuses. It was time to throw them out and live the life God has set before me in the best way I can.

Here’s to cheering you on to being more intentional today!

Easy DIY Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

29
Feb
2016

Easy DIY Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

Over the years I have made changes in what I eat, cleaners I use, and what I put on my skin – all in an effort to bring complete health into our home. When we are intentional about the choices of products we use, it is amazing how the body can thrive!

One of the things I have been unable to switch over to was a homemade dishwasher detergent – until now! Finally, I have a simple recipe that is cost effective and truly does the job.  

Young Living Essential Oils Dishwasher Detergent

This recipe was shared on the Young Living Facebook page, so I thought I would give it a try. I did make a batch using Purification, but from now on I will be adding citrus oils instead. I love the fresh scents of Orange and Tangerine!

Dishwasher Detergent Recipe

This is the recipe and the links to the ingredients. I love using Amazon Prime for my household needs!

Mix the ingredients all up – super simple! Add 2 T per dishwashing cycle. I am experimenting to see if I can get away with less. I will let you know.

By using the Purification essential oil you are making a batch that will cost you $3.54 for about 12 loads. By using a citrus essential oil, like Orange, I can reduce the cost to $2.74 or $.23 per load. It certainly is not the cheapest detergent around, however, I love knowing exactly what I am using and to be honest, it was simple to keep on hand.  

I store it in a glass jar under my sink with a cute little scoop.

Still waiting to get on board with essential oils? You’ll get a bottle of Purification in your Premium Starter Kit – so you can easily try out this recipe with it or your Lemon essential oil.

 Get Started with Essential Oils

FREE Weekly Household Planner Printable

22
Feb
2016

FREE Weekly Household Planner Printable

I love my mom community and the suggestions you give which can make something great, even better!  

Everyone is in love with The Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner – whether you have the FREE version (which is blank) or the filled-in version, it saves time and energy. And that’s something moms really need to conserve!

I had a request to provide a version that was not dated and completely blank so you could fill out one with your own weekly tasks (this version is fillable too in Adobe) and then print one off each week! Brilliant!

You can download it here or you can click the image below and download the file.

FREE Weekly Household Planner Printable

Save it to your computer and then you can print it out a week at a time or create your own binder for the year. You can easily use my filled-in version with tasks to compile a sheet that works well for you – and if you prefer your week to start on a Sunday, you can do that too! Versatile and flexible.

Supplemental Kit

If you want to add some supplemental pages to your binder, be sure to check out my Supplemental Pack that comes with a ton of organizational pages. That will help you stay organized! It’s only $7 and a great tool for your home.

7 Daily Habits for a Cleaner Home

10
Dec
2015

7 Daily Habits for a Cleaner Home

#1 – Prepare Your Heart

This one may very well seem like a waste of time, however – when you can take some quiet time at the beginning of your day it will show in your attitude. Our job as caretakers in our homes can be joyful, challenging, and some days exhausting – but HE is able to refresh us IF we ask.   Do not let this one slide……be sure to take some time to get revived!

#2 – Clear Out Your Sink

Do not leave dirty dishes in your sink – especially overnight. That is the worst feeling ever to wake up to. If you have older children, help train them to clear off their own plates and place them in the dishwasher after each meal. If you wash by hand, be sure to assign the job to a member in the family to avoid the “overnight monster stacked pile.”

#3 – Wipe Down Counters

I include this in my routine under “Kitchen Tidy” in my Free Weekly Household Planner. I make every effort to clean off any surface in my kitchen, usually after each meal. It leaves space to come in and begin prepping the next meal and I do not get anxious about clutter. Such a relief!

#4 – Do a Load

I am a load (or two loads) of laundry a day person. I find that it keeps things moving through our laundry room and nearly eliminates all clutter. (This is my favorite DIY detergent too, smells amazing!!)  I have also found we need less clothing if I am rotating through the dirty clothes and washing regularly. It makes it easier for my youngest to put his clothes away as well, as it becomes a habit.

#5 – Put Shoes and Coats AWAY!

If you do not have a system in place for shoes and coats – quick, get one! Some hangers in the closet and some hooks on the door will make it handy for all ages to put their outerwear away. Also, having a bench with cubbies for shoes is helpful to keep the pile down. There is almost nothing worse than having shoes scattered around the house.

#6 – Keep It Fresh

There is something about having a house that “smells” clean that helps everyone adjust their perspective.

Years ago I would use Febreze or room sprays filled with chemicals to get that appearance of a “clean” home smell – but little did I know how incredible horrible they were for me and my family to be breathing in. Air fresheners – in aerosol, spray, solid, candle, or plug-in form – don’t remove odors, they just mask them.

Now I use a diffuser filled with a favorite essential oil, like Lavender or Purification for stubborn smells – they do not just mask odors, but rather help purify the air. I also have a small spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of essential oil that I can use to spray in my living areas too. (Ahem, also this poo-poo spray is very effective!)

#7 – 15 Minute Evening Pickup

This is not one you have to do on your own! Get everyone involved, set a timer, and put stuff away – clear the coffee table, entryway of miscellaneous after school items, dining table, and family room area. Put things back where they really belong to keep clutter down and gain a sense of “a place for everything” feeling.

Simple Gluten Free Meal Plan

7
Dec
2015

Simple Gluten Free Meal Plan

I have been waiting to get this review out to you all to be sure this meal plan idea was as good as I had hoped – and it is!

Back in November I stumbled across the 21 Gluten Free Meals for $162 Plan from $5DollarDinners.com and wanted to give it a whirl. I was looking to really ease my shopping burden and also reduce the budget for our meals. I had also taken a great liking to freezer meals – spending a few hours on one day to prepare the meals and freeze them ahead of time so I really used my time wisely.

Here is my honest review of using the 5DollarDinners.com Gluten Free Plan from Costco.

First of all – the price for this meal plan is seriously the best ever – $2.49 for a complete list, shopping list, recipes, and preparation tips for creating and also freezing ahead the meals you can. I love the concept of getting nearly all the ingredients I needed from Costco because:

  1. They have great quality ingredients
  2. It’s one stop shopping
  3. They have a lot of organic items that you can easily use and not overspend!

If you do not need a gluten free plan there are two other menu plan options from Costco on her site. One is an Organic plan too.

Here are the recipes in the Gluten Free Plan:

  • (2) Chicken Enchilada Casserole with corn *
  • (2) Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup *
  • (2) Orange Glazed Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and veggies * (will make potatoes day of)
  • (2) Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry *
  • (2) Shepherd’s Pie *
  • (2) Beef Tamale Skillet Dinner with veggies
  • (2) Southwest Rice Pilaf
  • (2) Ranch Chicken and Potato Casserole with veggies *
  • (2) BBQ Chicken Street Tacos with rice and corn *
  • (2) Basil Balsamic Chicken with rice & veggies *
  • (1) Sloppy Joe Bowls (cooked and froze)*

Out of this list I was able to make-ahead and freeze in either Ziploc bags or casserole containers all the meals with an asterisk (*). I did end up preparing the Ranch Chicken Casserole dish and placing all the ingredients together in a Ziploc and then placing in a casserole dish the day I cooked for our family, but it did not turn out as well as if I had made in a casserole dish and froze. So will do that next time.

So far our favorites are the Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry (this is so good!), the Shepherds Pie (super easy and really yummy – my five year old had three servings!), and the Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

Here are a portion of my meals before they were popped into the freezer!

gluten free meals

My Cost Breakdown:

I totaled up what I spent for the items I needed from Costco for these meals. I added a large bag of onions from Costco, which were not on the list and spent $204 total, instead of the $162 that is advertised. Obviously that was close enough in my book, as every Costco is not going to have the exact same prices. 

I would estimate the cost of the additional ingredients needed from the grocery store or what you already may have in your pantry to be around $20.

I actually was able to get two more meals made with the items that I purchased – so instead of 21 meals I got 23 meals, plus I had leftover sweet potatoes, rice, corn tortillas, tomato sauce, chicken broth, potatoes, and frozen veggies to use elsewhere with my family. So I estimate that for 23 meals I spent $224, so that broke it down to $9.40 per meal, which feeds a family of four.

Can You Even Imagine?

Will I be doing this again? You bet! I can re-use this $2.49 meal plan over and over again – I love that it’s simple recipes, easy shopping, and I can now tweak the recipes just a bit to exactly how my family loves them – more garlic and onions!  đź™‚

Don’t forget to grab your 2016 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner and Supplemental Pack which comes with a great weekly menu planner page too!

 

Here is a video where I share a bit more on my thougths

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