23 Inspiring Quotes for Motherhood

24
Sep
2020

My Favorite Inspiring Quotes for MotherhoodMotherhood is a tough job, not for the weak or weary, am I right? Our days are long and often met with extreme challenges, especially in the past six months. We all need encouragement and inspiration to keep taking one day at a time. I wanted to gather some inspiring quotes for motherhood that will encourage you to keep on doing the things you know to do, and be the blessing to your family you only you can be.

And let me remind you, you are doing an awesome job—truly!!! No one can do exactly what you are doing…no one.

Sit down with a cup of coffee and let these sink in. Grab a favorite image and save to your phone so you can have a little bit of encouragement whenever you need it.

My Favorite Inspiring Quotes for Motherhood

“Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”
—Cheryl Lacey Donovan

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”
—Robert Browning

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.”
—Unknown

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work. —C.S. Lewis

“Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”
—Fanny Crosby

“Life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother.”
—Unknown

“No influence is so powerful as that of the mother.”
—Sarah Josepha Hale

Finding balance as a mother means accepting your imperfections. —Mary Organizes

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them FEEL.”
—Carol Buchner

“The journey matters as much as the destination.”
—Michelle Dockery

“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.”
—Honore de Balzac

Motherhood has the greatest potential influence for human life. —Unknown

“Motherhood is the exquisite inconvenience of being another person’s everything.”
—Unknown

“Motherhood changes everything.”
—Adriana Trigiani

“You are far more precious than jewels.”
—Proverbs

Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles. —Sharon Jaynes

“Your child will follow your example, not your advice.”
—Unknown

“Mothers are like glue. Even when you can’t see them, they’re still holding the family together.”
—Susan Gale

“The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.”
—James E. Faust

To the world, you are a mother, but to your family, you are the world. —Unknown
“Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.”
—Sophocles

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
—Rudyard Kipling

“Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.”
Barbara Kingsolver

I hope you take some time to allow these inspiring quotes for motherhood to sink in…to really help you feel the powerful job you are doing today and every day. Even in the hard, it is so worth it.

 

6 Fall Essential Oil Blends for Your Diffuser

9
Sep
2020

I do enjoy all things fall, do you? The crispness of the air, the snuggly sweaters, the colorful display of nature, and especially the warm aromas of baking. Yummm, can you smell your favorite fall scent now? I must admit, I was quite excited with the thought of writing a blog article about my favorite fall essential oil blends for your diffuser. Even though fall hasn’t arrived in full force yet, I was too excited to wait!

It’s been years since I have had a fragrant candle in my home. Yes, I was one who was a candle addict, I admit it. I would go to the mall with my coupon and get all the candles I could to “freshen” up my home. Little did I realize that most of those candles were full of toxic ingredients and synthetic fragrance that wreaked havoc on my endocrine system and in my lungs.

Thankfully, soy and beeswax candles are much cleaner burning and nontoxic, so I will occasionally burn one. But for the most part, I am addicted to my diffuser…or diffusers in plural. Yes, I have several in my home, including on my nightstand so I can drift away to sleep with ease.

The leaves are beginning to turn and the evenings will soon become cooler; it’s time to start enjoying these fall essential oil blends for your diffuser which are guaranteed to give your home a cozy and warm feeling.

Must-Have Fall Essential Oil Blends for Your Diffuser

fall essential oil blends for your diffuser

 

I’ve included a printable with all the recipes, as well as labels for diffuser bombs. Diffuser bombs make diffusing blends simple and convenient. You add the indicated amounts to a larger bottle and dispense the oil into your diffuser from that blend. Aren’t the labels super cute? Perfect for you or gift-giving!

Fall Orchard Autumn Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

 

Apple Cider Fall Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

 

Cinnamon Bun Fall Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe

 

Pumpkin Pie Essential Oil Diffuser Blend

 

Make the air smell like Spice Cake...yum

 

Warm Oatmeal Essential Oil Diffuser Recipe

Which is the one you can’t wait to try???

How to Get Started With Essential Oils

Homeschooling for Beginners: 5 Tips for Success

20
Aug
2020

5 tips for homeschooling for beginners

Here we are. Homeschooling for beginners (me). Many of you might be like me and are finding yourself in a situation where you have chosen to homeschool. And, to make it even more humorous, you likely told yourself more than once, “I’ll never homeschool.”

I find when I use the word never, it often really gets God’s attention and He finds ways to help me kindly remember that he is in control! But in all seriousness, what are we to do? All of us nervous, and excited, homeschooling beginners?

I may not be a veteran homeschooler with years of solid advice, but listen, I am here with you in the real-life world and I do have some solid tips that will help you settle into your own little rhythm and routine that will provide just what you need in your home.

#1 You Know Best

Since last April, when we began “distance learning,” I slid into the role of homeschooling beginner. I asked the teacher to not send home the work packets, that we would come up with our own curriculum. In the few weeks we were going through packet material, I quickly realized the areas that my Super J was struggling in and what areas we could really devote some time. This is the beautiful thing about homeschooling; you truly do know your child best.

So, I encourage you to sit and think about what you desire your school year to look like. Examine if you work better on a schedule or something with more wiggly room. How does your child learn best? Are they a hands-on learner or do they enjoy worksheets and reading? Do not doubt what you know about your child. You, mama, truly do know your child best.

#2 Flexibility

As an Enneagram One, this is one area I struggle with. I thrive on routine and schedules; however, my ten-year-old is not always as receptive to my timeline. Since he has his entire school experience based on Montessori-style learning, I have decided to allow him to be more of a participant. Each week I will outline what tasks need to get accomplished, and he will get to choose the order he does them as well as what days he works.

Right now, we’ve set our school week up for Tuesday through Friday. I think this schedule will work best for us, but if it needs shifted, no worries, we can do that. He will choose the tasks he wants to work on and in what order. He can see there are a certain number of tasks for the week, divided by the number of days he wants to work, and can easily see how many he needs to accomplish daily to finish in the time he desires.

Since we have only one child at home, this should work good for us. If you have more than one child, you could still use this philosophy but shift it a bit to accommodate your unique situation. I love giving children opportunities to problem solve and develop some life skills. Learning to manage your time is a huge life skill so many kids do not learn.

#3 Take Breaks

The wonderful thing about homeschooling and what we have learned in the past five months is that our schedule gets to look however we want. If we want to start school at 11 a.m., great. If we want to start at 7 a.m., perfect. If we desire to have breaks throughout the day to take a walk or do another activity, why not?! I have found we all work better together when we have frequent breaks.

I encourage you to have some fun break activities lined up so they are easy to go into. One thing my ten-year-old really enjoyed was taking a trampoline break. This was perfect and great for rainy days too. We have this mini-trampoline set up in our basement and he can go take a break for 10 to 30 minutes. He burns energy and it really helps to reset his emotions. Think of a few standard “break” activities you can have lined up to choose from and then fit them into your day.

#4 Choose Simple

If you are new at this homeschooling gig, just remember, you get to decide how it goes. And, in my humble opinion, simple is best. Pick curriculum that is SIMPLE!! There are so many to choose from for sure, but resist the urge to become overwhelmed. Look at a few, ask a few friends who have experience, and then pick one!! We chose most of our curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful because it was simple! Easy instructions and I wasn’t having to create some big elaborate lesson plans. That certainly does not bring me joy! For math, we grabbed Masterbooks and I cannot tell you how happy I am with the book. Easy laid out lessons, organized, and not online. I did not want an online program for math since we were planning to hit the road traveling, but also we just desire less screen time for him.

#5 One Day at a Time

It’s an old saying, but relevant to homeschooling for beginners. We all need to just take one day at a time. For myself, I am holding close the idea that I can change up what we are doing in the middle of the year, or even two weeks after we start. Nothing is forever. It doesn’t mean I messed up or we did something wrong—not at all. That is the beauty of homeschooling. It’s fluid and flowing. I am anticipating that we will need to shift and that is okay. Having other expectations would just be setting myself up for failure, and who needs that?

Finally, if you have not read The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education by Ainsley Arment, do it. It’s calming my heart in so many ways. Read it or listen to it as soon as you can; you will find empowerment!!

I want to help equip you to be successful in your journey.

I’ve created a few FREE Homeschooling planner pages to use in your planning with your child(ten).  We are currently using the page with the subjects along the left side and my won gets to choose what he does each day from the list.  This system is working well, as I only have one child and am not concerned with him getting all subjects each day, but rather allowing him to have some ownership and choice in the process.  There are a couple other options as well, and all have an editable page, which means you can download the file and use Acrobat Reader to type in your own fields then SAVE your file to your desktop. Grab yours here.

Do you have any other tips for homeschooling for beginners? I sure would love to hear them. I know many of us are in this together for the first time ever, and it’s always more fun to do something together with friends.

10 Mom Hacks and Proven Timesavers

13
Jul
2020


It’s time to share some sweet mom hacks and proven timesavers with you all. We are all busy and it’s a great thing when we can utilize timesavers to help with our schedules that seem to be jammed packed, right?

These are true and tested mom hacks and timesavers I have used through the years, and I am happy to pass them on to you.

Make a daily list for your kids

Who likes repeating themselves? No one—especially moms. But I found that I do it a lot. If I have some lists compiled and posted for daily occurrences, it will help everyone. Not only does it give me a break, but it helps my child learn to read and be self-directed.

We have a list for morning tasks as well as tasks that need to be completed at bedtime. I shared in a live video that I do not use a fancy chore chart; I simply type out a list on a Word document so it’s easy to change up as needed. We just edited our list for the summer months and it’s been working like a charm.  I love adding an element of positive consequence when my child is successful at following the list and completing it. This is developing wonderful habits for your children and helps mama keep a bit more sane!

Clean all produce upon returning home

This is something I only started about a year ago. But friends, it’s such a timesaver…I cannot believe I didn’t think of it sooner. I fill my large farmhouse sink up with water and my Thieves Fruit and Veggie Wash (more on Thieves here) and begin washing all the apples, berries, lettuce, and other produce. Once it’s dry, I bag the lettuce so it’s all ready to use. It may take some time initially, but when it’s time to grab a snack or make a meal, it’s so easy to prepare. You can also employ your kids to help with this task too. Give it a try and see how much time it saves!

Delegate tasks to your kids

I talk about this often, especially using my Weekly Household Planner. It’s one of the most important mom hacks and proven timesavers you can do! Just because there are tasks that need to be done to keep a tidy home doesn’t mean you as the mom need to do it all. In fact, if you are, you are doing your children a disservice. Where else will your child learn home-keeping skills? Write out tasks on a simple whiteboard or use a colored highlighter to color-code tasks on my planner. Each child gets a different color and they know what task they are responsible for each day. It’s easy and will free up your time for something else too.

Buy the same socks in bulk

Here is another tip I just started about six months ago. I buy only one type of sock for my ten-year-old and that is it. The time I have saved folding laundry and allowing him to help is way more than a few minutes. It’s been wonderful for laundry day, but also when we pack for a trip. Toss socks into the suitcase and you’re ready.

Shared digital calendar with family

I haven’t kept a paper calendar for our family in years. My hubby and I share calendars on iCal, which automatically syncs appointments so everything is kept up to date. You can add your kids to the family calendar as well—even kids that do not live at home. They can see your family plans instantly. Our ten-year-old doesn’t have a cell phone, but he does have an older iPhone that we’ve disabled cell service on. There are a few features he can use, such as texting using Internet, but only family members. He can access the local library audio book site, and he has access to our family calendar. It helps him feel a bit more grown up and “in the know,” which he finds really important. We can also easily print out a copy of a day or a month and post it if need be.

Double up dinner and freeze

This one is life-giving, friends. When you are making a dinner, either soup, like this one which is a favorite here in our home right now, or a casserole, make a double batch so you can freeze it. I have been doing this for several years, and I love knowing I have extra dinners in the freezer for times I just do not want to cook, or we get unexpected friends who stop by. I can be hospitable without all the anxiety of “what to fix.” I will often do this when I bake a pan of cornbread as well. We will not eat the entire pan within a few days, so I freeze it in small batches for later. I’d encourage you to see what you can stretch in this way.

Clean your shower while in the shower

I have a handheld dish scrubber in my shower that contains a mixture of Thieves Dish Soap and Thieves Household Cleaner. When I am nearly finished with my shower, I take a minute to scrub the shower glass and tile. I rotate areas on different days. This has helped so much in keeping the shower clean and truly cutting my cleaning of our bathroom down to a few minutes. It’s a huge timesaver, and it will allow you to savor the warm water just a bit longer too!

Online shopping

Take advantage of the many things you can have delivered right to your home without leaving! I have so many items we use consistently on Amazon subscribe and save, which truly saves me time and money. With my discount from Amazon I save money, plus my time is valuable, so I am saving that as well. I also use Amazon Prime instead of running out to a store. This can be a true money-saver, since you are not purchasing things you truly do not need because you happen to see something while out in the store.

A few more sites I use are Thrive Market, where I can get wonderful natural food items, and Stitch Fix, because I just am not a mall shopper but do like some pretty things (and they have the best jeans!). Daily Harvest has been wonderful with helping me eat healthy, even when I am busy and have a hard time keeping on track. It’s so easy to whip up a smoothie and add my favorite protein powder to the shake. Lastly, Green Chef has been my best friend the last three years. Living in a remote area has its challenges, but this was the perfect way to get meals delivered that met our specific dietary needs.  Honestly, we have so much fun trying new things. Cooking has become more of a joy with Green Chef!

Weekly meal plan

I sure hope you are already meal planning, but I know when I asked the trouble areas mamas needed help with, this was a big one. Sit down once a week, pick some recipes, create your grocery list, and just do it!! Grab this FREE meal planning sheet, get out your favorite cookbook, or go scroll through my Pinterest boards. Another idea is to snag my “Got Dinner” recipe book that contains 45 recipes that are family friendly for only $2.99. I admit, I had fallen out of weekly meal planning, but now that I am back in the groove, it’s such a timesaver and gives me so much joy to cook. I am not burdened with that “what’s for dinner,” angst that hovers over me when I do not have a plan.

Clean without thinking

Yes, I said that! One of the things I hear all the time from moms is…”I don’t know where to start.” Well, this where I have taken all of that thought process out of the equation for you. My Weekly Household Planner is FREE and it has tasks listed for the most common things you would want to check off when managing your home. It’s the motherload of mom hacks and proven timesavers! Keeping things tidy is the name of the game. If you haven’t downloaded your free copy, do so. Give it a try. Print a full week and see how it goes. I can guarantee you will not have to think much, and for a busy mom, that is total music to your ears!

More mom hacks and proven timesavers

Have you implemented any of these mom hacks and proven timesavers? What new ideas will you use? What other homemaking tips do you use in your daily routine that reduce your stress and free up some time?

5 Tips to Prevent the Summer Slide

1
Jul
2020

We are in our final days of our school year.  Like most of the country, we switched to a homeschool model back in April and were not in the classroom.  It’s been a shift for this mom, who else can feel me on that?

Now that we’ve mastered a rhythm to our day, life has become a bit easier to manage.  We still have two days left of school….. thank goodness!!

As we end the school year and to a much needed break from the learning, it’s important to keep our kids in the game so they do not lose what they’ve mastered over the last few months.   The ‘summer slide’ is the phrase used to describe the slide backwards  many children make in reading and math skills over the summer break.  But you can combat summer slide by encouraging your child to devote a small bit of time each day to keeping up skills.  I have some tips to help you put this into action.

Reading

Oh how I love that my son truly loves to read.  At ten, that was not always the case, but there is a time where a switch usually gets flipped and kids begin to read easier and it becomes more enjoyable.  We’ve been using some of his allowance, and matching it when he wants to purchase a book on amazon to read.  We love our library system, but it is currently not operating for physical book checkout.  We have used the Libby app, which allows you to download ebooks and audio books from your local library.  It is still a screen, and we do limit that time, even when reading, but are more flexible since physical books are not available right now.

We’ve taken an old iPhone of ours and disabled many features, but allowed the Libby app on it so our son can have it for reading.  It’s been a life saver for sure.  Reading really keeps their brains engaged and allows creativity and imagination.  Does your child enjoy reading?  If not, pick a few books to read outloud together, I shared some read outloud book ideas a few weeks ago.

Writing letters

Yep, an oldie but goodie, especially during this time.  Why not get your child set up to send letters or cards to family members who live far away.  This is an incredible way for them to practice their penmanship and letter writing skills, and have fun too.  Grab some greeting cards and fun stickers to help round out this experience.

Come up with a list of people to write to and they can pre-address those envelopes on a few days, and then take one or two cards each day to write a happy note in.  If the envelopes are already stamped and addressed, it goes much easier.  They might even have fun getting letters back in the mail!

A Page a Day

Since the homeschooling session began back in April for us, I have been using Education.com to find grade appropriate curriculum for my son.  You can use it for free, so I encourage you to try it out.  It’s been fun to pick different subject areas to focus on and just today I let my son choose whatever work he wanted, it just needed to be age appropriate.  So he chose, and printed some worksheets out.  It was so easy and he had fun.

We’ve also use workbooks during the summer similar to these, which make it super simple.  You can easily take these on the road as well, if you are planning to do any traveling.  It’s not quantity that matters, but consistency.  If you ask your child to do just one page of work a day, as part of their daily routine, you will see growth in their abilities, which is really empowering for them as well as you.

Flash Cards

We are all familiar with these, right?  You likely had them when you were in school and perhaps on summer vacation!!  However, flash cards are so important for recalling information quickly and for memorizing.  We are currently working through our multiplication facts in flashcards and will start division soon.  I love them for their ease of throwing in my purse when we are on the go as well as just their interaction and connection with the person who is holding the cards.

We recently returned from a road trip and the flashcards were used in the car to pass time.  It was so easy to have them on hand.

Work for Screen Time

This is a gem friends.  If you struggle with setting limits on screen time, remember, you are in charge.  You have tools at your fingertips to use to create a routine that will help your child and you interchangeably.  At our house, we have an old slogan, “work first, then play.”  You’ve likely heard it too, but have you put it in place in your home?

Pick a few of these ideas for your child to incorporate and then allow them to “earn” screen time.  You can award it on whatever level you like, but maybe 15 minutes per activity listed here?  Or perhaps thirty minutes is more your speed.  The time doesn’t matter, but the learning experiencing of working first and then receiving the award is so valuable.

So there you have it, a few ways to keep your child from sliding back in their learning.  Just implement a few key pieces into your summer routine and you’ll be making great progress.