How to Family Meal Plan and Enjoy It

Sep 17, 2020

How to Family Meal Plan and Enjoy It

Last week things were tense in my house over taco meat.

Yep, taco meat.

It wasn’t just any taco meat.  It was the frozen taco meat I had prepared weeks ago so I could take a night off from cooking.  A frozen meal from an evening of double cooking is something worth fighting for... who’s with me here?

Hubby had pulled it out to make lunch for the kids on a random Thursday.  Bonus points for helping with lunch, but when I walked into the kitchen to see taco meat sizzling, I saw red. I’m territorial over my freezer meals.

Ok, I agree I need to be more flexible (working on it).  

There are about a million things I’d rather be doing than meal planning and grocery shopping.  BUT, I believe the taste and quality of what we eat in important.  So I have a system to get it done quickly and painlessly.

Hoping it will help you.

My Meal Plan Process

On Monday nights, we always eat leftovers.  (Or...

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The Surprising Benefits of Self Reflection

Sep 10, 2020

I had stayed out late the night before. Too much tequila made me next-level tired.  Somehow, I still held my promise because my daughter means the world to me.

Thinking back on it a few days later, it was priceless bonding time with my girl.  We toured the murals of downtown Roseville (my childhood hometown), and I indulged her love of snapping IG pics with interesting backgrounds.

I spend lots of time in my head questioning myself in the moment.  I took a second to celebrate my good decision. 

Do you ever take time to reflect?

You probably wonder... WHY?  When time is a precious commodity, sitting with our thoughts seems to be a waste. Or maybe a luxury you can’t afford.

Let me explain to you why it’s worth it.

Research of call center employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. Another study of UK commuters found a similar result. ...

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Get The Power of Accountability in Just 7 Days

Sep 03, 2020

“The Buck Stops Here” was a wooden desk sign that sat on Harry Truman’s desk.  He would refer to it in speeches.  A visual cue that he made the final decision and held himself accountable.

Now when I walk the aisles of HomeGoods, the desk signs read, Boss Babe, Goal Digger, or Lady BOSS.

Not the same level of accountability.

I love your feminine spirit, Lady BOSS, but one thing you can’t delegate is accountability.

What is Accountability?

Simply stated, accountability means doing what you say you will do.  You can ask someone else to write the content for your next product launch, but when you are the Boss Babe, you still own the responsibility for getting it done.

Accountability is hard to find when you work from home either by choice or circumstance (thanks Corona).

It’s still worth seeking if there’s a project you want to get done.  Being accountable to someone stokes the fire of motivation because your actions are being...

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6 Tips for Tracking Habits

Aug 27, 2020

Your alarm goes off, you stumble to the bathroom, and what do you do next?

Nothing for me before coffee!

What is it for you?

The act of making coffee (or insert your thing here) is a habit.  I could do it blindfolded.

Dump out yesterday’s grinds, fill up the water tank, tap the new grinds into a fresh filter, and push start without even thinking. It’s hard-wired into your brain. 

What if you could create any habit that’s as effortless as brewing coffee?  Yep, even daily exercise.

Today I’m not going to delve into how to create a habit.  James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, is the guy to go see to dive deep on this one.  

Let’s look at tracking habits because it’s the secret sauce to keeping a good habit:

Making Good Habits Stick

 

  • Secure your motivation.  Think about the last time you tried to diet.  If your motivation was to lose weight it probably failed.  However, if you wanted to lose...
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The Self Control Apps that Just Might Change You

Aug 20, 2020

Am I right to guess we’ve all spent more time indoors this year than we ever imagined we would? Did you ever think we would be here?!

It’s changed the way we work and relate to each other.  

My work requires a deep focus.  Time I need to be in my head and with my thoughts.  I’ve played around with tech that helps me get into that deep focus, but today I’m diving even deeper into the tools.  There’s some fancy stuff to get your head in the game.

Noise Cancelling Apps 

First, here’s the two I’ve been using forever:

White Noise Lite

Honestly, it’s been so long that I’ve been using this app, I forget how I stumbled across it.  I can’t sleep without the pink noise sound, and I’ve trained my family to like it too.  Bonus, when we go on vacation I can crank it up and drown out all the noises everyone makes in their sleep.  

I’ve also used their mix pad to create the...

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A Day in Quarantine with the Pomodoro 25 Minute Timer

Aug 13, 2020

Ever feel pressure to complete a task as time ticks by on a stopwatch? Our focus can be intense when you add the element of time.

In the name of research, I devoted a day to using the Pomodoro method.  Will I ever be able to finish a project again?  I work from home and thanks to coronavirus so do my husband and 2 kids.  Oh yes, and our giant Labradoodle Rudy.

Not the most productive environment.  

Here’s how my day went:

First Pomodoro 6:28 am

This was a late start.  I usually start my mornings at 6 am, but we spent the night before soaking in the last few bits of summer vacation.  And you guys know how I feel about sleep.   

The second stumbling block was my phone didn’t charge overnight.  I had planned on using Focus Keeper on my phone, but that wasn’t an option.  

A quick google search brought me to Tomato-Timer It was easy to use working for my desktop.  I loved the little countdown timer...

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The Incredible Joy You'll Find in Buffer Time

Aug 06, 2020

“Give the bike ahead of you a 30-second lead.” the guides would shout each time our group would take off for a new destination.  This space between bikes would allow the dust to settle, but it's also a precaution to prevent crashes.

We were on a downhill waterfall mountain bike tour.  If the teenager takes off right behind me, there’s no time for him to respond when I have to slow down to yell at my kids to stop arguing over goldfish crackers.

The spacing is a buffer to keep us safe.  And inhaling less dust is a BONUS!

Keep on Buffering in the Real World

Do you build 30 seconds of space into life?

You probably need more than 30 seconds because unfortunately, life is more than just chasing waterfalls.

Let’s take this blog post, for example.  I’ve been writing weekly posts for years and depending on the subject, I know it will take me about 2 hours to write a single post.

I plan on 3 hours of writing time each week as a buffer. ...

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Getting Ready for Back to School in a Pandemic

Jul 30, 2020

Last night I laid in bed pretending to sleep for hours.  I knew I wouldn’t sleep and probably should have taken a sleeping pill.  Those pills I save for special occasions like last night when I know my mind won’t shut down.

Today is our school district’s deadline to decide if we want to enroll our kids in virtual academy for the first trimester. (Since I wrote this just last week, this option has disappeared.  Every day the only constant seems to be change.)

Unclear seems to be the theme of Back to School 2020.  Let’s cut through this fog together.  Most of us have been through some version of remote learning last Spring.

I challenge you to stay productive.  Starting next Monday, August 3rd I will post daily back to school productivity tips.  Join me and share how you are working around the obstacles and still soldering forward to make progress on your dreams.

Guess what?! We’ve got enough anxiety in our lives so...

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Time Chunking Method, How Bad is It?

Jul 23, 2020

Last week I got a text inviting me to a neighbor’s 40th birthday zoom call.  Poor girl, I thought.  A milestone birthday in quarantine.  That’s not fair.

Then I read the fine details and it said to plan on staying on the call for an hour and a half.  What?  I liked this girl but spending 90 minutes of my Saturday on a Zoom call with strangers (I didn’t recognize any other number in the group text) no thank you!

I peeked at my calendar and smiled.  The call landed on the day we leave for vacation.

Saved by the calendar. (I love my digital calendar. Here's a guide on how I've set it up.)

What if that space in my calendar was free?  Have you ever said yes to something just because your calendar was empty?  Stop that!

Let me introduce you to time chunking (aka time blocking). Its a system for making appointments with yourself every day so you can focus your energy on the most important things. Divide your day into blocks forcing...

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13 Reasons to Make the Family Calendar Digital

Jul 16, 2020

How often have you wished for more time?  Time to watch the waves crash on the beach with your family, time to finish the project before the deadline, or time to work on your passions.

There was a calendar proposed in the early 1900s that gave us 13 months.  No joke!  The Kodak Company used it until the late 80s. 

I can’t wave the magic wand and create time, but I can share the wonder of moving to a digital calendar.  Right now you’re about to click away because you’re already using that calendar on your phone.   But are you getting the most out of it?

1. Multiple Calendar Categories

Color-coded categories allow you to assign different calendars to the unique roles you play in life.  Purple for mom, green for self, and yellow for business. Plus, it adds some pops of color.

2. Recurring Events

Every other Thursday at 4 pm, my son has to get allergy shots.  I only had to put this into my calendar one time and tick the little...

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