Month: January 2012

Finding Time For Devotion

Super Easy Life Hacks For A Great New Year

I have two great posts coming for you in 2012 about ways to organize and simplify your life.  Until then, I thought you may enjoy the Top Ten List from this past year. Happy New Year!

From Practical Faith for Everyday Life, Posted December 30, 2010

Many people this time of year reflect upon the past year and look ahead with new goals, resolutions, or at the very least: wishes for improvement.  I have a confession. I don’t really make New Year resolutions.  Not that I’m perfect, I just get bogged down in the details…and the guilt when I don’t fulfill them.  Why set my self up for failure? (All though I have heard that writing them down and breaking them up into attainable steps works. Hey, wait- I already do some of that with housekeeping.  Keep reading. You’ll see.)  Sometimes I just take the easy way out.

Here are some of my “easy way out” strategies.  Some of them require just a tiny bit of effort on the front end.  Over time, they really save me BIG in time, effort, and money.  Some keep me healthy. Heck, some of them even make me look better!
  1. Post a grocery list on the refrigerator.  Not on the counter.  Not in your head.  Put it ON the fridge. Whether you use a dry erase board, a pre-printed list, or a plain ol’ piece of paper (that’s what I do), you can quickly post grocery items as you run out.  Train the kiddos and hubby to do it too. This really does help eliminate forgotten items and trips back to the store. Now, if you really want to save yourself in the long run, take the time to organize your pantry.  Don’t go all Martha Stewart, just put all the cans of tomato soup together. (No offense, Martha, its just that most of us don’t have have a staff to help and tons of money to spend on closet hardware.)  Group like items together.  At one quick glance you can see what you have and what you need to add to the grocery list.
  2. Speaking of your pantry, as you run out of items replace them with the healthier, less processed version when you’re at the store. One by one you’re feeding your family more nutritious meals. You’re not throwing food out either-wasting money.  It’s not so overwhelming this way.  Small steps can make good habits last longer.
  3. Keep a small notepad in your purse.  I use the notepad on my iPhone.  Train yourself to jot everything down.  This way you can keep track of errands you need to run, gifts you need to purchase, items you need to add to the grocery list, etc.  Not everybody is a list maker, I know, but it does eliminate that feeling of, “I know there was one more thing but I just can’t remember.”  This way you can save room in your brain for the really important stuff!
  4. If you have trouble finding time to spend with God, break it up into smaller, do-able chunks during the day.  See my post on How I Abide In Him for easy ideas.
  5. Trying to get your house in order (especially after Christmas guests, and kids home on school holiday) can seem impossible.  Focus on smaller tasks.  Spend just 10-15 minutes once or twice a day on the trouble spots and you’ll be organized in no time.  This is how I keep my housekeeping chores from getting away.
  6. If you’re having a hard time exercising, this one is for you!  At least three times a week, put on some great music, set the timer for 15 minutes, grab the kids and dance your buns off.  March, run, jump, dance- whatever- just go all out for 15 minutes.  Increase your time as your endurance builds.  What’s better than having fun with the kids and getting a good cardio workout too?
  7. Lay out your clothes (and the kids’) the night before.  You’ll be amazed at the time this saves in the morning. No more “what to wear?”  No more wasting precious time trying on things. No more fights with the kids.  I layout my clothes on Sunday night for the week ahead. No kidding, I do! Use an over-the-door hook or just put those outfits together in the first space of your closet rod.  
  8. Even if you’re a stay at home mom, you need to have at least one “go-to” outfit ready. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something that says “I’m fabulous.” You’ll feel fabulous too running errands in something other than sweats. Jeans and a trendy top (those tattoo t-shirts hide stains) paired with cute low-heels and big earrings are a must. Don’t spend much. You can pull together a great, yet inexpensive outfit at most discount or dollar stores if you take the time to look. I’m serious about the big (preferably hoop) earrings.  My theory is that they draw attention away from the dark circles under my eyes. 
  9. Keep those dry trouble spots smooth with a stick moisturizer. (I’ve been using one made by Palmer’s but Santa left Heel-Tastic in my stocking. I like it too.)  You can find one in the health & beauty section EVERYWHERE.  Keep it by your bedside or by your toothbrush if you have trouble remembering (like me) to use it. I swipe my heels, knees and elbows in the morning and the evening.  It’s a five second spa treatment with no greasy hands!
  10. Just like the go-to outfit, I have a quick go-to makeup routine for the days I want to look put together but just don’t have the time.  Tinted moisturizer + Lip Crayon + Mascara = Instant (but super quick) GLAM.  Use a mocha or mauve lip crayon in the crease of your eyelids and blend with your fingertips.  With the residue from your fingertips, swipe along your cheek bones. If you use a waterproof mascara, you can use the crayon underneath your lower lashes for a soft liner affect.  Of course, don’t forget your lips! With only three products and your fingers you can be gorgeous in less than three minutes. Really- three minutes! 
These tips are so simple yet can revolutionize your day to day routine. I’d love to hear some of your short cuts and ideas!  Let me know if you try mine and how it goes. Why should getting organized, living healthy and looking great be expensive or hard?

Super Easy Life Hacks For A Great New Year ~ 2012 Edition

Need to simplify? Organize? Are you overwhelmed? Hate resolutions? Me too! Here are some ways that I create order out of chaos:

  1. Messy house? No time for a “deep clean?” Spend just five minutes morning or evening (both- if you’re ambitious) picking up the clutter.  Keeping the common areas free of clutter goes a long way in making your home appear clean and presentable.  Nobody really cares about the dust bunnies behind the TV anyway.
  2. Write EVERYTHING down –  on a post-it note, on your smart phone, or on a refrigerator memo board. Keep all your notes in a central location.  This way you don’t have to rely on your memory on days when you’re brain is overloaded. 
  3. Turn the TV off and turn the uplifting music on.  Even if you’re not paying attention to it, what you hear filters in to your heart and mind.  Brighten your spirit and you brighten your day.
  4. Drink LOTS and LOTS of water.  Water is an inexpensive way to detox and beautify your body.  Adequate hydration eliminates waste, lessens allergies, stimulates proper body weight, and moisturizes your hair and skin. Talk about multi-tasking!
  5. Learn to SAY “NO” with confidence and without feeling guilty. Know your limits and enforce your boundaries to keep sane.  You don’t have to do EVERYthing. Give yourself permission to prioritize according to your family’s needs.

To see last year’s tips, click here. I wish you a very, very Happy New Year.  May God bless you with peace, health, and prosperity.