Put aside the important things…

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If you’re wondering why I’m bloging on a Tuesday rather then on Monday, it’s because I decided to take the day off after working hard to prepare for the craft show I had last Saturday. It was much needed and it really help me to refocus and recuperate!

I will be sharing some of my favorite products on Wednesday but today I will be continuing with the topic of using our time wisely. Last week, I shared several things that I limit to be productive. I’m not going to be giving you any kind of list or ‘how to’ today. Rather, I’m sharing something near and dear that can’t be confined to a list…

We all have important things to do… Most of us have too many important things to do. There’s so much we have to do and no matter how wisely we use our time, we never get it all done.

We’re all in different situations… Some of us chose to be insanely busy while other work and work just to put what little they have on the table. I know because I’ve been in both situations.

But I’m not here to discuss the factors of our busy lives. I just want us all (myself included) to remember that wether you have 5 min or 5 hours, those few sweet moments will be remembered by your little ones long after our memories fade. Whatever time you have for them, give them 100% of it.

Read the time management articles, the mompreneur blogs, and the self help books, but also remember, that while we are blessed to work at home and be around our children, they need us to ‘be there’ when it’s time to play together.

I realize that this concept isn’t anything new to you, but this week I have been hearing Sean quote more and more things that I say to him when I am playing/spending time with him. He may never come up to me and say, “Mommy, I’m so glad you spend time with me,” but the very fact that he says the things that mean the most to him really made me do some soul searching.

Sometimes we need to put aside the important things… Even if it’s just for one minute to hold our loved ones tight and let them know they’re even more important than the “important things” in our lives…

P.S. That’s spaghetti all over his face… Spaghetti makes him very happy. ^_^

Strength & courage for days like this…

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I used to think that courage meant that you were never afraid. I used to think that having strength meant that you could take anything that came at you in life. But nothing could be further from the truth…

Last October we realized that our little guy was really having a hard time in group settings. My normally sweet, calm and cuddly little boy would get so worked up and uncontrollably frustrated in group settings, to the point that I would often be called out of church services because the nursery volunteers wouldn’t be able to calm him down. I had no idea what was happening, I was confused, embarrassed, and frustrated.

After seeking the help of a pediatrician, we left with a diagnosis of a developmental delay, with the understanding that he did have some of the mild symptoms of autism. From there we have been moving towards therapy, and through all of the assessments, autism was brought up yet again…

I know I’m super biased because I’m his mom, but Sean is smart, loving, and works hard to do everything the other kids do. He’s about as determined as his mom & dad combined, so I have no doubt in my mind that with a little help, he’ll succeed in whatever he tries to do.

So here I am… Believing that with my whole heart… And yet I found myself afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of being inadequate, afraid of being judged for my inadequacies…

I felt so weak and cowardly for even feeling this way until it dawned on me that being courageous and strong doesn’t mean that you will never be afraid. It means that you take that fear and weakness and cast it at Jesus’ feet.

Peter 5:7
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

God already knew what we would face in our lives. He already knew that Sean would have different challenges to face and he already planned for me to be his mommy.

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…”

I realize now that without these feelings of weakness or insecurities, I would probably be prideful, but they’re also not there for me to wallow in. They’re there for me to give to Jesus and draw closer to Him, as I take our crazy life one day at a time…

So I’m writing this, hoping that it will give you courage to face today and all it holds, knowing that Jesus cared enough to know you and all of your future…

Things I limit to be productive…

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Last month I shared several health ideas and favorites, but this month I am going to be sharing what I have learned and what I am still learning about productivity. As a work at home mom, it can be difficult to differentiate ‘busy work’ and what has to happen to run a business and keep our family in order. It’s easy to be busy all day doing things that really need to be done at some point, but not what I need to do at the moment. Here are some things that I have had to limit to keep a balance between home and actually making progress in my shop.

1. Limiting Laundry
I’m one of those people who actually really loves doing laundry… I hate putting it away, so we turn that part into a family night, where we all help while watching a movie. LOL. I’m not suggesting that you not do laundry. Please! By all means do the laundry. We will all thank you for it, but I have been guilty of doing laundry to avoid certain things that I really needed to do for my shop. For example, maybe I needed to do my product photography, but instead I decided to go and do a second load of laundry when that load could have waited till tomorrow.

2. Limiting Phone Calls
This can be a really hard one. I used to answer the phone as soon as I heard it, but then I realized that if I was working for someone else, I wouldn’t be allowed to take calls at work. I do my best to only work during Sean’s nap and at night after he goes to bed, so I have to work really hard to make the most of that time. I now set my phone on vibrate while I’m working, and generally only pick it up when I’m taking a break. Thankfully, with a smart phone, there are features that allow certain #’s to ring, so I can set my phone to where I hear my phone ring if my hubby calls.

3. Limiting Research
A lot of research goes into what I do prior to creating a new product. I go through hundreds of photos, color palette charts, and magazines to create a new pattern. I honestly love it, and that part really feels more like fun than work. However, as with anything there is a time and place for it. It’s easy to get sucked into only doing research and zero production. I have to be really careful about working on a product, taking a break to do more ‘research’, and then realizing that 30 minutes have already gone by.

4. Limiting the ‘Do It All’ Syndrome
I think we as mom’s living in the internet generation, we tend to live with this guilt if we are not able to ‘do it all’. I know I do! We see these perfect homes and well kept rooms and think ‘why isn’t that me?’. The truth is, no home is perfect. Are some neater than others? Sure they are! But think about why… Does the family have children? Are they older? Does the mom stay at home? Is she currently building a business? Can they afford a house keeper? Those are all things to factor in before we begin criticizing ourselves for what we don’t have rather than thanking God for what we get to do. I try really hard to make sure that Sean has fun crafts to do, the house is picked up, and everything is aesthetically pleasing, but to be honest, depending on what’s going on, it doesn’t always happen. It’s called ‘being human’.

5. Limiting Unnecessary Stress
This one is easier said than done. In my heart, I want to have everything lined up for the next day, blog posts for the next week already scheduled, and menu plans for the entire year lined up and ready to go, but life never goes as planned. That being said, a little forethought can go a long way to avoid stress. This is one that I am really having to work at, but I know it will be worth it.

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By the way, this is a friendly little reminder that I will be drawing a winner for the Valentine’s giveaway this Friday!! All you have to do to enter is join the Weekly Newsletter + Coupon Club and you are all set! If you have already signed up, then you are good to go. You can join right here! One lucky winner will win:
• A set of heart coasters in a mystery color.
• Chocolates.
• And a couple other fun surprises.

If you are picked, you will receive an email from me, asking for your contact info, so be on the lookout for that on Friday!

Taking Time For Health: Part 3

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I hope you have been enjoying the topic I have set up for Mondays. Each month we will have a new topic for our Monday’s together. If you have any topics you would like to discuss or would like to know more about, I would love to hear from you!

Continuing with our ‘Taking time for health…’ Series, today I am sharing something that may not seem like a health topic, but it affects our health much more than we realize. In fact, sometimes I don’t even realize how much it has affected me until after the matter.

That little something that makes a big difference would be my daily, spiritual walk with the Lord. I have definitely been guilty of thinking I was too busy to make time to spend with my Savior. That’s humbling and sad to say, but if we are completely honest, we have all been there. We run ourselves ragged, and at the very end of the day, 5 minutes before we crash for the night, we attempt to read our Bibles and retain what little we really comprehended due to the onsetting grogginess.

Do you see how your spiritual walk affects you physically?

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Our entire lives are made up of hustle and bustle. There have been many times that I have worked around the from the time my feet hit the floor to the time my husband got home, and wonder why on earth there was still so much to do.

The truth is, there will always be ‘STUFF’ to do. STUFF that takes up all of our time, STUFF that takes up all of our energy, and STUFF that seems to suck the joy right out of us. By the way, I am not referring to our responsibilities as wives and moms. Taking care of our families is not ‘stuff’. Feeding your husband and children is not ‘stuff’. Just clarifying…

I’m talking about the things that aren’t bad or they might even be good things but… Too much of a good thing… Let’s say your best friend wants to hang out. That’s not a bad thing at all! But after you said yes to your best friend, your neighbor calls and asks for you to come over for dinner. Again not a bad thing, but after you said yes to your friend and your neighbor, you find a million videos on Facebook and waste 15, 20, 30 minutes of your afternoon…

You do all of that ‘stuff’, run your business, do the grocery shopping, answer the phone, cook dinner, play with your kids, try to be attentive as your husband tells you about his day, brush your teeth, realize that you forgot to pack a lunch for tomorrow, wash that load of laundry again because it sat in the wash too long, sit on the edge of your bed and think… Huh. I think I will read my Bible.

You have to learn to say ‘no’… No to some of the things that are asked of us, no to being a people pleaser, and no to waisting our time on things that really don’t matter.

You ever wonder why we are worn ragged… Mentally, physically and most importantly spiritually? I know I have been guilty of this more times than I care to count.

Being in God’s Word everyday without fail has been my goal for this new year. It hasn’t been easy, but I can say that it has made a huge difference in my everyday life. That and prayer.

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So bottom line, say no to ‘stuff’ more often, and yes to our walk with God, time with our families, and doing what will really matter in eternity…

Taking time for health: Part 1

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On January 1st I said that each month I would be picking a topic that has something to do with balancing motherhood and business. Balance! Balance! Balance! I have been chanting it over and over in my head as I try to do better with it this year than I did the last. It’s one of those tricky things that’s easier said than done. So today I am starting the first of many monthly topics that will target those tricky areas in our lives.

If you haven’t guessed already, this month’s topic is about how to work on your health amidst you INSANE schedule. When most people say that they don’t have time to go to the gym, they are using it as an excuse to avoid perspiring glistening … Unfortunately, some of us really have no way to afford, find a baby sitter, or find time to go to the gym. I know because I am one of them.

One of my goals is to get into the same shape I was in college, so like I mentioned in the last post, rather than making vague resolutions, I am marking my calendar to make time for mini workouts.

Some of the things I am about to share with you will either inspire you, or have you laughing at me. Either way, it will benefit you, one way or another.

1.Wearing athletic wear does not make you athletic…
This might seem like a no brainer, but I’m actually speaking from experience. LOL. In my heart of hearts I knew that sleeping in a track jacket wouldn’t get me toned, but it looked like I had fallen asleep during a workout (I did one squat. Hehehe), so it made me feel better about myself.

2. Jumping jacks in front of the TV counts as cardio!
If you’re thinking, “Jumping jacks? Ha! Who is she kidding??”. You try watching an episode of your favorite show while doing jumping jacks non stop!

3. Pinning workout articles only exercises the index finger.
When was the last time you actually read that workout article you pinned? Skimming over the pictures doesn’t count. Make the time to read what you already pinned and apply it to your sessions.

4. Make it nap time priority #1!
If your kids still take naps, get a 10 min workout in! Go on youtube and search for Popsugar’s workout chanel. They have workouts categorized by 5min, 10min, and 30min workouts. Plus it’s freeeeeeee!!

5. Stop using, “I need a new workout bra”, as an excuse…
Maybe I’m the only one who’s ever used that as an excuse… Haha ^_^;

*Disclaimer*
I am not a health and fitness expert, and consult with your doctor before starting any kind of exercise.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/703/74516623/files/2015/01/img_5861.jpgIt’s finally here, ya’ll!!! Join my club here, and I’ll send you a super secret coupon code and a story recap every Friday!! I hate spamming, so I have a NO SPAMMING policy and you can unsubscribe at any time if you really just hate it that much. And then I’ll see that you unsubscribed and go and have a good cry… Just kidding… Not really… LOL

Why I’m not making resolutions this year…

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First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! For some reason I am way more excited about this year than I have ever been before. I’m excited about this chance to reset and restart. For this chance to look at life with fresh eyes and work towards new goals.

If you’re thinking ‘new goals?’ and reading my title wondering why those two ideas seem to contradict… Don’t worry because I’m about to tell you how this is going to change your life.

When I looked up the definition of resolution, one of them was:
A firm decision to do or not to do something.

I realize that there are other definitions out there, but I chose the one that most people think of when they hear the words ‘New Year’s resolution’. It’s the beautiful hopes and dreams we have for the new year. It’s the ‘I’m going to get into shape’, ‘I’m going get up earlier’, and ‘I’m going to read more’ that we have planned for our lives.

It’s beautiful and it’s fun, for the two weeks that it lasts… None of us intentionally get sidetracked. The truth is, most of us want to continue. The problem was never with the resolutions, but rather the plans behind them.

A resolution without a plan for action is nothing more than a dream that lasts as long as our willpower. I don’t know about you, but my willpower ain’t all that strong… That’s why this year, instead of making resolutions, I made plans in my calendar.

For every resolution that I would have made, I set aside time in my calendar to carry out the goals I want to accomplish. Rather than resolving to get in shape, I set aside time in my calendar to work out. Rather than hoping that I can produce more product this year, I gave myself deadlines to create new things.

Making a resolution without a plan would be like a mom who didn’t make plans for meals, who hopes that dinner makes itself, and brings everyone to the table, assuming that everything is ready. Sometimes we get lucky, and Hubby brings take out home, but it usually doesn’t work that way… Wether you are a planner or not, it takes time and thought to make things happen. Our goals for the new year are no exception.

I’m sharing a very simple thought, I know, but it’s more difficult to carry out than it would seem!

ATTENTION:
While we’re on The topic of getting all organized and making things happen, I have been meaning to get an email subscription available to you, for the last several months. I’m excited to announce that this will finally be available to you starting this next Monday!!!

On Mondays, I will be blogging about things that are helping me to find balance as a work at home mom. Balance is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot. We all know that we need it but sometimes it’s hard to know what the practical application would be. That’s why I decided that I would like to start sharing simple tips and tricks that are helping me in this area.

On Wednesdays, I will be sharing fun family moments and some project progress photos so you can come along for our family time and keep me accountable keep track of the projects I am working on.

Then Fridays!!!! On Friday I will be sending out the subscription newsletter that will include a coupon for your next shopping trip to Tokyo Blossom Boutique, and a recap of Monday and Wednesday’s articles.

I am so excited, and I can’t wait to get to know you all better this year. If you have any questions about the subscription that will be available starting Monday, feel free to ask. I want to make this as enjoyable for all of you! Well, hope you all are not too tired from staying up late last night. 😉

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Not enough water…

Do you ever stop to think about how much water you are actually drinking? I didn’t up until this last week, and I actually kinda shocked myself. Let’s just say that if you count all the tea and coffee I was drinking, it would have been wonderful, but otherwise there was very little water involved…

Thanks to a birthday present from my awesome sister and Jerry the minion, I’m now drinking enough water to keep a plant alive. It’s a good thing too, because if I drank any more coffee, I would have probably began to perspire java when I worked out!

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