5 Tips to Make Back To School Easier

30
Aug
2018

back to school tips

If you’ve already headed back to school, you can likely disregard this post until next year!  However, our family is still a week out from our start date, and I am sure there are a few others who still have kiddos at home, so I wanted to share some of my yearly tips that keep me sane.

Back to School Tips

Shifting from a busy and non-structured routine of summer days is a little tricky, but with some planning, you can make things a bit smoother.

Alter Your Sleep Pattern

A week before school begins, start going to bed and waking up (you and the kids) earlier. It helps make the transition easier for everyone.  We start school next week, so last week we began slowing altering bedtime by 30 minutes every few days, until we got back to the school-year bedtime.

This is also the routine with wake-up times, slowly shifting the rise and shine time for everyone.  In our house, especially this year, we’ve had some VERY lazy mornings, so this was has been actually the most difficult to transition.

Clean and Tidy Closets

This was my favorite back when growing up and heading back to school.  My mom and I would school shop for new clothes, and even though most of my clothes came from bargain stores and Sears, I was still excited.  I can remember picking out my first day of school outfit weeks ahead of time.

Take some time to go through the closet and find items that have been outgrown, doesn’t fit for school attire and simple needs to go.  Then organize drawers to make outfits easy to put together for your child.  Depending on their age, you can even use boxes to plan outfits for an entire week – or a hangar system for this and use this perfectly sized closet organizer.  Isn’t it perfect for organizing all week?

Create an After School Routine

This is one of the most important steps as we head back to school.  I love to create independence in my child and one way to do that is create tools which they can use to help keep themselves on track.  Now, each child is different for sure, and after having four I can tell you that they each require a bit of different training.  But one thing that is helpful for all fo them is a chart which gives them tasks to check off after they’ve completed them.  We use one for before school, but also after school, and bedtime.

My desire for our after school chart is to allow my child to really be independent on knowing what his tasks are and finding success in completing them on his own, with out me hovering over him.  I have printable task sheets and tasks ideas in my Back To School Survival Guide, if you are looking for more ideas.

Plan Lunch Ideas Ahead

Do all moms really dread packing lunches, or is it just me?  One thing I have done, which has helped, is to sit down with my son and come up with a list of lunch items that he would like to see in his lunch.  We expand on this list, so that there are items from all food groups, and then we can look at what items go together and what he can expect in his lunch.

This way, he has an expectation, I have an expectation and it is much easier to plan.  How would I have known otherwise that he liked dill pickles and black olives in his lunch box?  I also like to get re-useable lunch box supplies, like this bento lunch box that we have had two years.  Its sturdy and has worked so well with the ice packs.

Create a School Calendar

Keeping track of all the school activities, classroom parties, events and such can really be tricky.  I like to put this on my iCal calendar so that all our family members can see it.  However, we have also used a printable calendar that comes in my FREE Household Planner and designated school items with a certain color.  Having a viewable calendar on the wall seems to really help my eight year old, so this type of wall calendar is what he likes.

What Back to School Tips do you have to share with other moms?

If you are looking for tips on keeping everyone healthy and well this upcoming school season, take a look at this awesome Back to School Class I was a part of a few weeks back.

If you decide to jump into Young Living with me, you’ll get $20 cash back on your Premium Starter Kit – be sure to check it out!

back to school with essential oils

My Best Parenting Tip

13
Aug
2018

my best parenting tip

The other day my friend was struggling with parenting her two-year-old. She felt overwhelmed, exhausted, and at a loss on how to parent her child who was pushing all the limits.

Can you relate?

We chatted for awhile and I thought back to one thing I could share with her that would help her feel more confident in her parenting ability. I’ve raised two adult children, am in the process of launching a 17-year-old out into the world, and now in the chaos of having an eight-year-old at home, so parenting is one thing I’ve had a bit of experience with.

One of my favorite all-time parenting books is ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Runkel. I took his training and became a certified instructor to share this parenting method because it literally changed my life and the future of my children and our relationship.

There are several key components that are shared in the book, but the one piece of advice I shared with my friend last week was to be consistent. Whatever you choose to do, be consistent.

It Is All About Integrity

Do you want your child to trust you?

Do you want them to learn to listen to you the first time?

It is all about integrity—meaning what you say, saying what you mean, and following through with what you promise.

Imagine what you are enforcing when you repeat yourself multiple times a day? When you ask your child to put their shoes on, but they ignore you. Do you follow through right then? If you repeat yourself several times before putting a consequence into place, you are reinforcing the behavior that your child does not need to listen to you the first time you ask.

Make a Request Once

Instead, you make a request the first time; when they make the choice to not obey your request, you enforce a consequence immediately, not after asking five times or losing your cool—which is what I was like about 15 years ago. I was a screamer. I yelled and raised my voice to try to get obedience, which is ridiculous! It took practice, patience with myself, and grace to overcome the pattern I had created for myself of yelling to try to get my children to obey.

Have a Consequence Ready

The next step is to have a consequence set in your mind on what you will do next, when your child does not comply with the first request. I often will give this information to my child in the form of a choice. “You can put your shoes on now, or if you choose not to, you will lose  _____.”  (I often would allow my children a privilege, like choosing the radio station or music in the car when we drove to school, or riding their bike to school instead of walking.) You will want to pick a consequence that fits your desire, your child’s heart.

Parenting is tough—no joke!!! But we can make it easier on everyone when we choose to be consistent. Our kids learn to trust our word, they are trained to listen to us the first time because they know action will take place when they choose not to. We have the ability to make huge strides in this area when we put forth the effort and practice consistency.

I have a five-day parenting video series that is FREE; you can access it from Day One here, otherwise just take a minute and view the day where I shared about consistency.

Action Step

Pick one area you are struggling with enforcing consequences and decide to stand firm on what you say today.

Simple DIY Summer Perfume Recipes

18
May
2018

DIY Summer Perfum Recipes
Did you know perfume can be detrimental to your health?

The term “fragrance” on labels can be a combination of over 300 harmful chemicals that the company doesn’t have to disclose. This is often why people get headaches when they smell synthetic perfume.  I ditched my perfume years ago for safe, all-natural essential oil perfume that I know will only benefit my body and not harm it.

It is better to play it safe and create your own perfume with natural and effective essential oils that you KNOW are safe.   Not only are these perfumes safe, but their aroma therapy can take you from feeling down and out to happy and confident in a matter of seconds.

I began my essential oil journey because I was looking for oils to help support my emotional well being – little did I know how much I would learn in the process about the toxic chemicals I had been exposing my body to.  I am so grateful for the knowledge to do better and also to smell amazing with all-natural, plant-based fragrance on my skin.

Check out these BEAUTIFUL bottles provided by Silver Orange Boutique on Etsy. You can order these beautiful bottles through her shop, fill them with your favorite essential oils combo, and gift this perfume to anyone whose day you want to turn around.  I love surprising friends with sweet little gifts!

I have all types of bottles on hand to quickly whip up my DIY perfume blend.  I grabbed these simple bottles on amazon, they are colorful and so adorable, as well as these rose colored bottles.  They are perfect for blending and gifting.

Here are some of my favorite recipes.

Fill with alcohol when using a spray bottle. Fill with V6 carrier oil if using a roll-on bottle. Adjust amount of individual oils based on preferred scent.

DIY essential oil perfume blends

❤ Bon Vivant – “Somebody who loves life.”

In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Joy, 5 Geranium, 10 Tangerine
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Joy, 15 drops Lemon
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 Northern Lights Black Spruce, 5 Orange, 2 Rose
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Oola Fun, 10 drops White Angelica

🌺 Rilassante – “Relaxing”

In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Stress Away, 10 drops Orange
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 Drops Lavender, 5 drops Frankincense, 5 drops Orange
In a 10 ml bottle – 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Stress Away, 10 drops Valor

DIY Perfumes with Essential Oils

❤ Amor – “Love”

In a 10 ml bottle – 12 drops Ylang Ylang & 8 drops Orange.
In a 10 ml bottle – 6 drops Grapefruit, 6 drops Sandalwood, 6 drops Jasmine
In a 10 ml bottle – 10 drops Ylang ylang, 10 drops Idaho Blue Spruce.

What is your favorite scent? Floral? Citrus? Spicy?  If you have not tried Ylang Ylang – just do it.  Such an amazing flower that is grown on the Young Living farm in Ecuador. I had the privilege of hadn’t picking flower buds a few years ago.  The field smelled amazing!

Who is next on your list to brighten their day?  Maybe it’s you!!

Please tell me you already have essential oils!!!

If not, please give yourself a gift and make today the day you start.  NOW is a great time to get a starter set of essential oils and a diffuser for 50% off! I’ll also gift you $20 cash back and a goodie bag full of resources worth $25! You’ll also get access to my members-only online community to learn how to use your oils and get lots of education and support.

2018 Summer Survival Calendar is HERE!

3
May
2018
2018 Summer Activity Calendar

Be prepared for a fun, activity filled summer – all planned for you!

Are you ready for summer? Ready or not, it’s almost here!

And while we crave having our children at home all to ourselves for awhile, we also cringe when we begin hearing “Mom, I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!”

Or does it seem like every year summer flies by way too fast and you didn’t get to do all the things you wanted to do with the kids while they were on break?

If only you could be more organized you could fit everything in…

Now you can take charge of your summer with my 2018 Summer Survival Calendar!

If you are familiar and already a long-time purchaser of the Summer Survival Calendar and do not need to know any more, click the HERE to purchase.

Get Ready for Your Best Summer Ever!

I’m a mom too, and I know just where you’re coming from! I thought, there’s got to be a better way for moms to get a grip on summer and enjoy time as a family so the kids don’t spend all their time zoning out at the TV! So I got busy and scoured the Internet in search of budget-friendly, creative, and fun-filled activities that families can enjoy together and assembled them in The Confident Mom’s 2018 Summer Survival Calendar. I have done all the work for you, making your summer activities hassle-free!

The 2018 Summer Survival Calendar is a four-month calendar with over 120 activities to blast boredom and increase family time. It features at least one low-budget (and sometimes free) activity, craft project, or kid friendly recipe every day from May 1 to August 31. The calendar comes in a digital PDF download so you have it instantly, and most activities include a clickable link so you can easily view instructions or photos.

Activities You’ll Enjoy

These activities are not only easy on your pocketbook, they will inspire your child’s creative side and allow you to enjoy time together. You’ll find things like creating a gnome fairy garden, scripture game, toast animals, and cherry cheesecake ice cream to dish soap silly putty, craft stick monsters, pizza party, and magnetic sculptures. There is no shortage of ideas to keep your child’s mind engaged! You’ll enjoy watching their faces light up when they spend time with you—these moments as a family are the ones they’ll remember forever!

To make preparation for the activities easy, I’ve included a list of all the supplies or ingredients you will need to complete the daily activities or recipes on the Summer Survival Calendar. Organized by week and by day, you can refer to the list of supplies, checking off items as you gather them so you don’t get caught empty-handed when you are ready to play!

Don’t Just Survive—Thrive

Having these mind-inspiring and budget-friendly activities is the first step in making this a fun-filled summer, but we also need to ensure you have your time allocated properly to enjoy this family bonding time. With that in mind, I have developed the 10 Strategies for Your Best Summer Ever action guide. This optional action guide includes several thought-provoking worksheets to help you define your summer activities and goals and develop a plan of action, as well as organizational checklists. The tools I’ve included that will help you stay on top of your game this summer are:

Summer Goals worksheet
Ideas for Summer Fun checklist
10 Strategies for Your Best Summer Ever action guide
Quiet Time Activities worksheet
Important Summer Dates checklist
Standard Operating Procedures worksheet
Weekly Menu Planner/Grocery List
Summer Weekly Planner
Be Summer Organized checklist

These tools will help you not only survive summer, but thrive! The 10 Strategies for Your Best Summer Ever action guide and worksheets are included as part of the Summer Survival Calendar bundle.

You’re sure to find a package that fits your goals!

2018 Summer Survival Calendar and Supply List—$8
2018 Summer Survival Calendar and Supply List + 10 Strategies for Your Best Summer Ever Action Guide + audio workshop—$10
MEGA BUNDLE: 2018 Summer Survival Calendar and Supply List + 2016-2017 Summer Survival Calendars + 10 Strategies for Your Best Summer Ever Action Guide + audio workshop—$13

<<< PURCHASE NOW >>>

If you’ve purchased the Summer Survival Calendar in the past, you’ll be excited to know that the activities change every year so you are receiving fresh, new content each summer. More than 90% of the activities and recipes are new.

Who is excited to kick off summer and be organized??!!!!

Fearless to Flourish for Him – Fellowship Over Fear

19
Mar
2018

Flourish for Him - bible study

Last fall I stepped way outside my comfort zone and began a small bible study in my tiny beach house. Currently we are living in 550 Sq Ft, while we build our dream home out in the small town of Seabrook.  You can learn all about here the transition I made from the big city to our small town here.

To say I was scared and apprehensive, was a HUGE understatement.  I mean, I really didn’t have a spacious home to host such a study.  I certainly wasn’t a bible scholar and often am confused by the bible.  However, I knew I was suppose to step outside of my ability and my narrow thinking and do this.

Fellowship over Fear

My heart so wanted to get to know other women in my new town, as well as share the special bond we all have with Christ.  I knew the best way to do that is through small group bible study where space is made to share together.

We had our first gathering last fall, on a rainy night in October.  Over the months since that very first night of study God has been faithful in adding a few more to our precious group.  We started with five ladies and now currently have seven in our second session.  

Do you know the best part – the size of my house didn’t deter anyone from coming!  Nope – God is always one to deliver and be faithful.  Actually, many enjoyed the cozy feel and were just so happy I opened my home.

God began giving me a vision to host a bible study, fellowship retreat in my home.  Fortunately, we were in a season where our family was renting a larger home for two months, in order to start construction on our dream home, so I had space to accommodate the group.  First great answer to prayer!

My vision included having the bible teacher come and teach LIVE in person.  You see, we had been following the bible study sessions through Flourish, a community bible study I participated in located just outside Seattle, where I use to live.  The weekly session teachings Marjie Schaefer does  are recorded and anyone can view them!!  So, that is how I began my study here in my home, I just  followed along and let her teach all my friends.  I truly did just need to open my home!

Not only did I ask Marjie to come and teach in person, she was thrilled to come and pour into these women.  It was such an answer to prayer and also showed her sweet dedication to pouring into women, even those outside the Seattle area.

So, two weeks ago I hosted the first, Flourish By The Sea Ladies Retreat Day.  

Was it outside my comfort zone – YES!

I didn’t know if anyone would come – but I did it anyway.

I had no idea exactly how it would turn out – but God did, so I pushed past my fear and insecurity.

I planend a simple outline for the day, created some invitations, put together an easy lunch menu for us to enjoy and began inviting ladies and waited for God to do the rest.

Because this wasn’t really about me at all  – it was all about trusting Him and what He had planned for the vision he gave me.

You all…. it was just amazing.

We shared stories, worshipped together and dove into Gods word.

What an incredible day for me and to be with these ladies, forever grateful for their desire to come and trust me.

The Glory goes all to the one and only – He gets it all!

However I am truly grateful for Marjie Schaefer and her amazing ministry, Flourish that is a life-line for so many women, not just in Seattle but all over the Pacific NW and country!

It’s dedication like hers where you see Kingdom growth.

I wore this special necklace that day to remember Gods love for me and to help me be Brave. It had been a gift from two special friends, and it has helped me keeping going when things get a little rough.

What about you?  

Are you needing to find fellowship with Christian women?  

Why not host a study in your home?  

You can do just like I did, invite a few friends, play the video and coordinate a discussion.  

You do not have to be a bible teacher, believe me, I am not!  That is not my gifting, however I can invite and create a space to allow women to bloom together and flourish.

Step Out

I will likely post a reminder about hosting your own study in late summer.  New sessions of Flourish start in the fall, and I would love to have you step outside your comfort zone and join me in being the hands of Jesus in your own sphere of influence.  

Start praying now so God can work in your heart and show you how you can make a place for Flourish in your home with a few ladies.

Be brave for His Kingdom!