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!

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Valentine’s Giveaway

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Valentine’s day is right around the corner, so I figured it was time for a fun giveaway! This giveaway entry is super easy and simple. All you have to do is subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter + Coupon Code club! That’s it! Don’t worry… If you are already subscribed, then you are automatically entered in. You can subscribe right here! Every Friday you’ll get one email containing the weekly blog recap and an exclusive coupon code for subscribers!

Giveaway will contain:

•Chocolate!!!
•A set of heart coasters in a mystery color.
•A couple of other little surprises. 🙂

I will chose a winner next Thursday night in time to announce the winner on the newsletter!! The giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada.

My current healthy obsession…

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So I bet you thought that after ‘part 1’, ‘part 2’, ‘part 3’, that today would be ‘part 4’. Didn’t ya?? 😛 Well, I figured a little change would be nice, so I am sharing a new favorite of mine…

I don’t drink as much soda, pop, coke (whatever you call it), as much as I used to. I think part of it has to do with becoming a mom and becoming more conscientious of what I have in the fridge for us to drink. I used to be a big diet soda person, but after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I began cutting out artificial sweeteners whenever possible.

I started drinking sodas sweetened with the natural Stevia sweetener for a while. The only drawback was that they can be a little pricey. While they are still nice to have from time to time, I wanted to find something that was cheaper and even healthier. I always liked the unflavored fizzy mineral waters, but when I found the fruit flavored ones, it changed my world.

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If you’re used to really sweet sodas, it might take some getting used to, because while there is the fruit flavor, there is no ‘sweet’ to it. My favorite kind comes from Trader Joe’s and I think I pay around $0.79 a bottle? They come in several flavors, but my favorites are the raspberry/lime and the orange. I love that they contain no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or sugar. For me, it’s like having a completely guilt free treat.

Do you like sparkling mineral water? What’s your favorite flavor?

One of those weeks…

It has just been one of those weeks where the hubby and the little guy got sick at the same time… They’re ok now, but it’s been a little hectic to say the least! So today I’m just going to be sharing a couple of adorable selfies Sean took of himself when he got a hold of my phone. He wasn’t feeling good and he was still such a good sport the whole time. ❤️

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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…

Recent creations…

When I was a kid, I always loved the books with lots of pictures. It wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, in fact I actually LOVED reading. There’s just something about flipping through pages of colorful pictures… Even now as an adult, I often find myself flipping through a travel magazine, full of pictures of far away places, or a new cook book that shows off the deep colors of exotic vegetables and fruit.

So today, I am just going to post a gallery of my recent creations. Comment and let me know which one is your favorite!! 🙂

XOXO,
Julie

P.S. I made each photo ‘clickable’ so that you can see more info on each project. ❤️

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Taking time for health: Part 2

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In last week’s post, we talked about making the time to workout, no matter how ridiculous the obstacles. Some of my excuses may seem ridiculous, but the struggle is real, Ya’ll!!!

For the part 2 of this series, I am going to be talking about something that will make a huge difference, if you take the extra minute to do it. It’s something that I can be easily distracted from with something as little as my phone ringing.

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1. Take your vitamins!!!
I am really good about buying vitamins, but I’m terrible about taking them. Do what you have to do to remember… Use a daily pill organizer or set an alarm on your phone. I feel so much better on the weeks that I actually remember to take them.

2. Drink more water.
Again, I’m really good about pouring myself a cup of herbal tea or a glass of water, but life happens and it sits on the counter all by its lonely self… There have been times that I got to the end of the day and realized that I had only drank one glass of water the entire day!!! (Terrible for me, I know!) One of my goals this year is to drink a glass of water before I even eat my meal. I figured, this way I would not only remember, but it would probably help me on the weight loss side of things as well.

3. Scheduling my coffee intake.
I realize that there is a huge debate out there about wether or not you should drink coffee. I’m not here to argue about that, rather I am changing the time that I drink it. I used to drink it well past dinner time to make myself push forward until bedtime to get more work done. While I was getting more done, the energy behind my day to day work began to dwindle. Now, I drink a cup in the morning, and maybe a cup in the early afternoon, but after that I am opting for tea so I sleep deeper at night, and then I can get up at 6 AM. (I am currently working on the transition from being a night owl to a morning person.)

4. Taking the time to smell the roses.
As mompreneurs or moms in general, it’s so easy to push through each day, going to bed exhausted waking up exhausted… Each day blurring together.

A couple years ago, I was having a day where I was so worn ragged from working multiple jobs. For some reason I had a few minutes to be outside and enjoy the weather. I remember looking around and thinking, “I don’t remember this place being this beautiful”! It wasn’t that the scenery had changed, I had just never taken the time to notice!

We get so busy, we miss the entire point of working for ourselves… I want to work for myself so I can enjoy more time with my son and so that I have more freedom in my day to day activities. If I am so busy, that I can’t even notice how beautiful the sky or the trees are, I have traded one job for another.

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Ok… So here comes the part where I tell you how much you seriously need to join my Weekly Newsletter + Coupon Club! I’m planning several amazing giveaways that only those who are part of the club will know how to enter!

The first giveaway is going to be a Valentine’s themed giveaway and it will be coming up in the next few weeks. There will be a gorgeous debut product from my shop, some chocolate (yay sugar!!), and some other fun things in this giveaway. Are you excited yet?!?!?! I’m getting excited just planning it. So this is why you need to join my club. I promise I won’t spam you, only one little email on Friday’s and an occasional extra email for special occasions and holidays! Can’t wait to have you. 🙂