Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

5 Reasons You Should Experience a Stamping Convention

This Saturday is the annual Stampaway Convention in Cincinnati. We have gone to this for the past 3 years and never regret it. In fact, it is one of my favorite mommy days of the year. Even if you aren’t close enough to visit this specific stamping convention you should find one in your area to attend. The inspiration alone is well worth the price of admission but these events offer so much more than that. If you enjoy any kind of paper crafting or stamping then here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a… Click To Tweet

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Gets Creative Juices Flowing

Crafter’s block can be even more frustrating than writer’s block. You want to create, or maybe even have to create, but the ideas simply aren’t coming. A stamping convention is the perfect place to get those creative juices flowing again. Everywhere you turn there are new designs, ideas, and examples of creative work. There is no way that you will still be blocked after a day at the convention.

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Find Unique Items

There are so many unique items at a stamping convention that you won’t find in the craft store (like the stamp used in this project). These aren’t limited to stamps, either. You can find ribbon, stencils, tools, and more that are unique to the vendors selling them. I have found templates for boxes, specialty rub-ons, and glow-in-the-dark shrink paper for unbelievable prices. You never know what cool stuff you’re going to find from year to year.

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Learn New Techniques

Did you know that you can cut soda cans with your Sizzix? I didn’t until I watched a woman do it at the convention 2 years ago. She also showed you how to color your cutouts so that the ink sticks to the aluminum. There are always fantastic demonstrations to see and they free to watch. Learn how to make realistic 3-D paper flowers or new gorgeous inking techniques from vendors. Some even offer make-and-takes for a small fee. (A make-and-take is when the vendor provides the materials and guides you through making a specific craft. You then take home the items that you have made.)

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Take the Inspiration with You

There is so much to take in that you couldn’t possibly remember all of it. Thankfully, most vendors don’t mind you taking pictures of the displays. If you buy a product to make a specific idea you see, you can take a photo for later.

Note:

  • Always ask a vendor before taking a photograph of anything. While most do not mind, some expressly forbid it.

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Meet the People Behind the Designs

One of the coolest reasons you should experience a stamping convention is to meet the people behind the designs you love. It makes the designs more meaningful and it is fun to hear the stories behind them. A lot of vendors create their own unique stamps and each line has its own style. One of my personal favorites was getting to watch a demonstration by Tim Holtz. Watching the way that he layers inks and designs was mesmerizing. Unfortunately we didn’t get our picture with him because the wait for photos was simply too long. It was still incredibly cool.

Some of My Favorite Project Ideas from Last Year

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

You know that I love all things deer!

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Does it get any better than these amazing Halloween cards?

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

This awesome wall art proves that stamps are for more than cards and scrapbooks!

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

What about this gorgeous Christmas card? Can’t you just imagine a beautiful piece of stained glass?

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

These glittery ghosts are too cute to spook!

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Hee hee! Talk Nerdy to Me!

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Surprise the man in your life with these creative tool cards!

 

Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

Are you excited to check out a stamping convention? Before you go I want to leave you with a few tips for attending. First, wear comfortable shoes. These conventions can be quite large which translates into a lot of time on your feet. You also want to bring a tote bag. Not all of the vendors have bags for your purchases. Lastly, I like to bring a small notebook and pen to jot ideas and techniques on throughout the day. Which of these 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention are you most excited about? Did any of them surprise you? Let me know in the comments!

See where I’m linking up!

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Calling all paper crafters and stamping fanatics! Here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention this year!

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mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
“I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? Find out how to embrace a habit of reading with these awesome tips and tricks!

Create Your Future: How to Embrace a Habit of Reading

Welcome to August and another awesome Create Your Future post. This month and next month we are slowing things down. We are focusing on self-care for busy moms. One of the statements we hear over and over again is, “I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? I have always challenged that statement because it simply isn’t true. The truth is that you aren’t making reading a priority. You may know that I carry a book with me everywhere and fit in reading when I can. Today, I’m going to show you how to embrace a habit of reading and let you in on why it is my habit goal this month.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

“I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? Find out how to embrace a habit of reading with these awesome tips and tricks!

{The Boys Room Update posts will continue next week in case you are searching for that.}

 

“I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? Find out how to embrace a habit of reading with these awesome tips and tricks!

How to Fit in Reading

There are many times that you can fit in reading that you might currently be overlooking. To utilize them, I recommend downloading a free reading app to your phone or carrying a book in your purse like I do.

Kids’ Practices – I love watching my kids have fun playing but I do not need to watch the same football drill 1,000 times. This is a perfect time to enjoy reading a book.

Waiting – Any time that you are at the doctor’s office, Starbucks, or the like and you have a long wait, pull out your book and read.

Facebook – Speaking of Starbucks, a lot of people pull up Facebook while they wait for their coffee. Any time that you are free to play on Facebook is time that you are free to read. Try to start small and replace one time of day that you would normally surf Facebook feeds with reading.

Kids Playing – I am a huge fan of spending time with the kids. Laughing, playing, and creating with them on a regular basis is important. It is also important to let them play independently. Take them in the backyard on a sunny day and let them play while you read on the deck.

 

Find out how to embrace a habit of #reading with these awesome tips and tricks! Click To Tweet

 

“I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? Find out how to embrace a habit of reading with these awesome tips and tricks!

Why Reading is My August Goal

As I said above, I love reading and do so frequently. If that is the case then why do I need to form a reading habit? This is actually a lead-in to next month’s habit of a set bedtime. My plan is to read, in bed, 30 minutes prior to sleeping. Reading before bed will help train my body that reading in bed is a trigger for sleep. More importantly, like many work-at-home moms, I am exhausted at the end of the day. I want to form a new way of decompressing after the kiddos are in bed that doesn’t involve Netflix.

 

“I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? Find out how to embrace a habit of reading with these awesome tips and tricks!

Tips to Keep From Reading All Night

Have your ever been so enthralled in a book that you end up staying up until it is finished or sleep takes hold unbidden? This has happened to me more time than I care to admit. That is why I got out of the habit of reading before bed. So how can you stick to that reading time-frame and still get sleep? Here are 3 tips to help you:

  1. Alarm – Set a very quiet alarm on your phone that will play soft music or soothing sounds. You want it just loud enough to get your attention without startling you.
  2. Sticky Note – Determine where you will stop before reading and mark it with a sticky note. It won’t fall out while you read and you can see how quickly you are approaching it (making it easier to accurately mark in the future).
  3. Light Timer – This one is great because it forces you to stop reading however you won’t have the opportunity to get to a good stopping point (like the end of a chapter). Put your bedside lamp on a timer so that it automatically turns off when it is time to sleep.

 

“I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? Find out how to embrace a habit of reading with these awesome tips and tricks!

Now you know how to embrace a habit of reading in your life. Feel free to share these tips with any friend that claims not to have time to read. Think of how many amazing stories you can experience when you are reading every day! You can always reach out to me if you ever need recommendations. I am currently reading “In the Woods” by Tana French and it is fabulous. What book are you currently reading? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

See where I’m linking up!

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“I love reading, I just don’t have time to read.” Sound familiar? Find out how to embrace a habit of reading with these awesome tips and tricks!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Save Money with these DIY Beauty Recipes + Merry Monday Link Party 164

One of the quickest and easiest ways for busy moms to relax and invest in me time is with beauty products. That relaxation is even more needed during the upcoming hectic back to school season. Unfortunately those beauty products that make us feel so pampered can cost big bucks. Add to that the guilt of spending that kind of money on yourself and you probably aren’t investing in them as frequently as you should. Now you can have the best of both worlds when you save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

 

Invest in me time and save money with these DIY beauty recipes! #DIY #beauty Click To Tweet

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Homemade Natural Rose Petal Blush Recipe (Lina at Sew Historically)

This is absolutely incredible! Get a light and pretty pink tint for your cheeks easily with this DIY blush. The bonus is that you will know exactly what is in your makeup when you make it yourself which is awesome!

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Pink Lemonade Sugar Scrub (Erin at Suburban Simplicity)

Make your body feel and smell fantastic with this easy (and pretty) pink lemonade sugar scrub. It will go great with the lip scrub below!

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

DIY Raspberry Lemonade Sugar Lip Scrub (Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer)

Get baby soft lips and enjoy a yummy smelling scrub with this awesome lip scrub!

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Homemade Face Wash for Sensitive Skin (Jennie at Little Girl Designs)

This face wash is for sensitive skin but will work awesome on multiple skin types plus it’s easy to make. Win!

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Blueberry Lemon Sugar Scrub (A Cultivated Nest)

Lemon adds a refreshing citrus take to this awesome sugar scrub. You’ll smell amazing all day!

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Vanilla Homemade Lip Balm (Savanah at Midwest Modern Momma)

Can you ever really have enough lip balm? My wonderful kiddos are in the “slather it all over my lips… and face, and cheeks” phase so I am going through it faster than usual. This would be an awesome alternative to buying $4 tubes at the store!

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Blueberry Sugar Body Scrub (Jenny at The Jenny Evolution)

The color of this body scrub is gorgeous! Add that to the fact that you use dried blueberries and I’m in Heaven.

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

Honey Oatmeal Homemade Face Mask (A Cultivated Nest)

Face masks are one of my favorites! Nothing makes you feel more refreshed than chilling out in the tub with a glass of wine and a face mask on. This one is easy to make and cleansing for those stressed-out momma pores.

 

Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.

All of these DIY beauty products help you relax and save money easily. I’m super stoked about the raspberry lip scrub because I bet it smells amazing! Which one will you try first? Let me know in the comments after you link up at the Merry Monday Link Party below. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to. See you down there!

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Busy mommas need to relax and invest in me time. Now you can get your relaxation in and save money with these DIY beauty recipes.


Let’s Party! Meet the Merry Monday Link Party Hosts!

It’s Instagram follow month and we would love if you followed us on Instagram. Let us know you’re from the party so we can follow back by commenting with #MerryMonday.


Last week’s most popular post(s)

Watercolor Wood Globe Decor

Watercolor Wood Globe Decor via Consumer Crafts (PIN IT)

 

To see more features, visit the other party hosts!


All features are pinned to the Merry Monday Link Party Board!


Merry Monday Rules

Time to party & be seen on 10 blogs! Link-up our latest post on #MerryMonday 164 #linkparty! Click To Tweet

Help support the party & grab a button to display on your blog or party page!

My Pinterventures


Round-up themes for party #164

Each host will be choosing 8-10 posts from this week’s party for a themed feature round-up on next week’s Merry Monday party. What we’re looking for this week:

  • All things summer – outdoor entertaining
  • Farmhouse Decor
  • Christmas in July
  • Shell crafts, coastal decor, & tropical ideas
  • Back to School Ideas
  • Recipes – summer foods & grill recipes, fresh produce, chicken wing recipes

Now, show us your latest recipes, crafts, DIY projects, home decor ideas, home tips, and anything you created!


mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Make Fitness a Habit with a DIY Daily Workout Sticks System

This month’s Create Your Future post is later than normal, as you may have noticed. The editorial calendar for this month is crazy packed, as noted by the fact that it is only the 8th and already this will be the 6th post brought to you. Crazy, I know, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. However, this one is worth the wait. Welcome to the first Create Your Future post with a tutorial! I can’t believe that we have been doing this for nearly a year and there hasn’t been the need for you to make something before now. Since you know how much I absolutely adore DIY (it’s kind of my thing) it is surprising. No more, though, because this month we are focusing on how to develop a fitness habit and this DIY daily workout sticks system is just the tool for the job!

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

 

This #DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily #fitness routine! Click To Tweet

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Materials

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 1

Outline the end of a popsicle stick in the color of your choosing as pictured. I chose green for mine (as you will see in the photos).

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 2

Mark the edge of the stick at the bottom of your outline.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 3

Using the mark you made as a guide, outline the back side of your stick in the same way.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 4

Lastly, fill in the edges of the outlined area.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 5

Repeat steps 1 through 3 with the remaining 9 popsicle sticks.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 6

Next, write down an exercise (in the same color as your outline) and the number of reps to do on each stick. If you need some ideas, here are a few to get you started:

  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Plank
  • Sit-Ups
  • V-sits
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Run the Stairs
  • Wall Sits
  • Lift Up Your Kiddos (one-handed like a curl or two-handed over your head)
  • Bicep Curls
  • Chair Dips
  • Lunges
  • Kettlebell Swing
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Side Plank
  • Step-Ups
  • Opposite Arm and Leg Raises
  • Walking Lunges

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 7

Now, write an “M” inside the outlines on each popsicle stick.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 8

Next, on the opposite end of the popsicle sticks repeat steps 1 through 3 in a second color. For this side, I chose pink.

Tip:

  • Use the previous outlines as a guide to measure as pictured above.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 9

Next draw an “E” in the outlined areas, again using the same color you outlined with.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 10

Lastly, write exercises and reps on the blank side of your popsicle sticks.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

Step 11

Put your daily workout sticks in a container “M” side up.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

How to Use Your Daily Workout Sticks System

Each morning start with your daily workout sticks “M” side up. Choose 3 and perform them as your morning workout. After you have finished put all of the sticks back in the container flipped to the “E” side. Then, in the afternoon or evening, choose 3 more for your second workout. Once you have finished, return them to the container and turn all of your sticks back to the “M” side for the next morning.

 

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

That’s all there is to the daily workout sticks system. These handy tools will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant. As you become more accustomed to working out you can increase the intensity by drawing more sticks for each workout. You can also do so by increasing the number of repetitions that you do of each exercise. This easy DIY truly grows with you as your strength and stamina increase. If you are looking for more ways to stay active check out 10 Ways to Fit in Fitness and, of course, don’t forget to grab your free habit tracker!

See where I’m linking up!

Don’t Forget to Pin It!

This DIY daily workout sticks system will help you develop a daily fitness routine without the workout getting stagnant and they grow with you!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

Create Your Future: Developing Your Writing Habit

Are you tired of writer’s block? Imagine sitting down to your computer and the ideas start flowing out of your fingers. That is what happens when you start developing your writing habit. You train your brain and your body when to be creative. That is what habit we are developing this month. Don’t forget to grab your free habit tracker on Developing New Habits before getting started.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your #writing habit! Click To Tweet

Step 1

Determine how long you want to spend writing each day. This will depend on what you are writing and why. I plan on writing for 2 hours a day but writing is my job. If you are trying to finally write that novel while working full-time then you might only plan 30 minutes. Choose a time-frame that fits with your current lifestyle.

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

Step 2

Choose the time of day you want to write. This needs to be a time that you are free everyday so that you can remain consistent. Don’t choose a time that occasionally conflicts with practices or church. That time-frame is during the kids’ afternoon nap for me but you could try getting up earlier in the morning or writing during your lunch hour.

Step 3

Next, choose your method. For example, I hand write all of my posts before typing them. If you can be inspired with a keyboard and computer screen that is your method. You could even go retro with a typewriter if that inspires you. Whichever method you choose, stick with it. Changing your method repeatedly can affect the success of forming your new habit.

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

Step 4

Decide on a trigger. Some people sit down to write after pouring a morning coffee. Other jump right in after waking up. Choose something that will trigger your daily writing. This is especially important for creative habits. After a while the ideas will come more easily during your daily creative time.

Step 5

Write. This may sound like a no-brainer but I’m saying not to worry about what you write. When creating your writing habit it is simply important to write. If you are stuck at first, pick a word or topic and start writing everything that comes to mind. Write about why tacos are so awesome or what your perfect day looks like. It will get easier to work on the projects you want as the month goes on.

 

Finally beat writer's block once and for all with these tips for developing your writing habit! Sit down and the ideas will flow out of your fingers!

These steps will help you with developing your writing habit. You can steal my writing habit strategy if you want the exact one. While my kids eat breakfast, I clean. After breakfast and getting the oldest on the bus I start outlining while the little ones play. The outlines are getting out general ideas and points. They can also be easily walked away from if the kiddos need me. After lunch it is nap time and putting the kids down is my trigger to write. The outlines give me a road map for my writing during nap time. That is my exact strategy for forming my writing habit. Before you go, I’d love to know what your favorite writing medium is. Do you go straight to the keyboard or are you a pen and paper chick?

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Create Your Future: Forming New Habits

This month’s goals post is going to be a little different. Okay, a lot different. Part of creating your future is forming new habits. The activities that are important to you are easier to dominate when they become second nature. Believe it or not, there are specific steps you can take to turn activities and behaviors into habits. That is what we’re going to be doing for the next 6 months of create your future posts. Don’t worry. I’m sharing freebies to help you accomplish it all.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Choose Your Habits

Right now we’re going to focus on the next 6 months. That means your first step is to choose sex activities or behaviors that you want to become habits. These can be anything from getting a shower first thing in the morning to working out each day. Choose the activities that you want to be a part of who you are. To give you some inspiration, here are the six habits I will be forming:

  1. Crafting
  2. Writing
  3. Fitness
  4. Cleaning
  5. 11:30 Bedtime
  6. Reading

Assign Months

The next step is to assign each habit to a month. There are 2 different points to consider when deciding this:

  1. If your habits build on each other you will need to create them in the order that they build. For example, I want to read for 30 minutes each day but I also want that to become my body’s cue for bedtime. That means I will need to develop the reading habit first.
  2. Think about your schedule. Would it be easier to get more active in the summer when your kids are home or is that the time to start a new writing routine? It is likely easier to start working out. Save the writing habit for when the kids are in school.

Now that you’ve thought about these things, assign each habit the month you will create it in. Here are how I have assigned mine (and also the order I will be sharing tips and tricks with you):

  • April: Cleaning
  • May: Writing
  • June: Fitness
  • July: Crafting
  • August: Reading
  • September: 11:30 Bedtime

 

Find out how to turn activities that are important to you into habits with these steps!… Click To Tweet

 

Define Your Habits

You need to take the time to define your habits. For example, “cleaning” is too broad of a habit. Instead, list the specific cleaning tasks you are going to complete each day. You also want to define the time of day you will do the tasks. Here are some defining questions to ask:

  1. What are the specific tasks?
  2. When will you perform these tasks?
  3. Will you set a time for the task or will it be defined in a different way (word count, page count, task completion…)?
  4. What physical clues will you give your body to trigger your habit? For example, will sitting down with your morning coffee be your trigger to start writing? Will you start a load of dishes after clearing the dinner table each night?

Tips for Success

Simply having a plan isn’t enough to turn an activity into a habit. Here are a few pointers to be successful in forming your new habits:

  • Focus on one habit at a time.
  • To turn the activity into a habit, do it for at least 20 minutes each time.
  • Don’t skip any days while forming your habit. This includes weekends and holidays.
  • If you do miss a day, start your 30+ days over again.

 

Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Part of creating your future is forming new habits. These steps will help you turn activities and behaviors that are important to you into habits!

Forming new habits also helps with your time management. By integrating the activities into your everyday life you become more efficient and will end up ahead in many areas of your life. To make this whole process easier, print out your free Monthly Habit Tracker so you can ensure that you are remembering your new habits each day! I will also be providing tips for the specific habits listed above each month so check back for those. You can also get weekly updates and inspiration each week in your inbox when you sign up below!

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Invest in Your Community with Cincinnati Bell


Your community directly impacts your life. Community shapes us. Great communities lead to great people. This is why when people come together and care about their community it makes it better for everyone. I know how blessed I am in my community because it is an amazing place to live. That is why it means so much when companies invest in your community like Cincinnati Bell is investing in Cincinnati. They are going above and beyond to make our community amazing. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics.

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell! https://ooh.li/da3f99f #ad… Click To Tweet

Meet Cincinnati Bell Fioptics

Fioptics is more than just fiber technology (find out more about that below). The speeds accommodated by Fioptics makes everything you do online lightning fast. These amazing speeds extend to your television experience, too. With MyTV you can get 60 HD channels standard then choose your custom channel packages to add to it. Cincinnati Bell is the only company offering television on your terms in the Cincinnati area!

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

MyTV

MyTV lets you pay for custom television the way that you want it. Combined with Fioptics you can customize your channels, stream videos, and always have a lightning fast connection. No more getting frustrated about buffering or lag because there isn’t any. You also get access to OnDemand which lets you stream the movies and shows you want, when you want them!

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive
What is Fiber Technology?

Fiber technology means that lots of small wires, or fibers, are contained within the cables. This lets insane amounts of information and data travel across the lines at one time quickly. Fiber technology is what makes it so fast!

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

How Cincinnati Bell is Giving Back

Cincinnati Home Campaign

Cincinnati Bell knows that community is important, too. They know that investing in our home makes it stronger. One way they are investing in our community is the Cincinnati Home Campaign. They have created these awesome t-shirts featuring the iconic Roebling Bridge. The shirts are $20 each with the proceeds going to four local organizations:

  • CancerFree KIDS: Mission is to eradicate cancer as a life-threatening disease in children.
  • The Dragonfly Foundation: Supports kids, young adults, and their families as they endure cancer and bone marrow transplants.
  • USO of Central and Southern Ohio: Supports local military service members around the world and their families.
  • Spca Cincinnati: Animal shelter and Humane Society dedicated to improve the welfare of animals by fostering the Humane Care and Treatment of all animals.

They are even giving back to our community by investing in local businesses for the Cincinnati Home Campaign. The company printing the t-shirts is located right in downtown Covington and is locally owned and operated. This campaign is proving that it pays to invest in your community through and through.

Did you know that with the ConnectCincinnati app, you can access free WiFi city wide? Learn more… Click To Tweet

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

Fioptics at Home

When we bought our house I was ecstatic. There was literally only one thing that I was bummed about and that was that I couldn’t have my Fioptics internet because it wasn’t available in our neighborhood. We had used it the entire time we were in our apartment and loved it! So when I found out that is was now available to us I couldn’t say “Yes!” fast enough. Lightning fast connections and ability to stream everything we want easily is a no-brainer.

This time it’s even better because now we have the awesome television package, too. You can choose from tons of packages from sports to kids. You also get access to OnDemand shows and movies. Some of these are free and some you can rent for your next family movie night. Cincinnati Bell handled all of the installation so all there is for you to do is turn on your new box and pick a show! It’s perfect for busy moms.

 

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

With all of the time you free up with Cincinnati Bell you’ll have time to invest in your community. Volunteer at your child’s school. Help keep the amazing family programs at the library going. You can run more 5K’s to raise money for your community. The possibilities are endless. Check out Cincinnati Bell so that you can start investing back in your amazing community today.

See where I’m linking up!

Don’t forget to pin it!

Great communities lead to great people. Find out how you can invest in your community with Cincinnati Bell and make your life easier with Fioptics. #ad #CincyGive

 

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night.

Awesome Ideas to Save Money on Girls Night

With growing families to take care of and a never-ending to-do list, moms are the worst at making girls night a priority. Add to that the stress of budgeting for it and you’re ready to call it quits before you even start. It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night. Now there will be one less barrier to you and the girls getting together.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

 It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night.

No Cover

Pick a venue that doesn’t have a cover charge. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go to the happening spot in town. Be intentional with your planning. Choose to go on a night when women get in free. Some venues also offer free entry during certain times so check for that as well.

Skip Dinner Out

Have dinner at home with your family before your girls night. This will save you money and it can be an easier transition for your kids if you don’t leave them much. Alternatively, you can still have dinner with the girls but have everyone bring a dish to share. Meet up at someone’s house and eat together. Bonus points if the husband will do the dishes while you’re gone!

Bring Cash

Using cash is the only way to 100% control your spending on a girls night. This is especially true when alcohol is involved. In addition to only using cash leave your cards at home. This will help control your spending and it allows you to bring a smaller bag on your night out. Even with cash do not run a tab. That allows you to lose track of your spending easily. Pay for everything as you get it.

Coffee Instead of Drinks

Most coffee joints are open late. Take advantage of this and have a girls night at one. Coffee is much cheaper than drinks (especially since you are less likely to get multiples). You can chat and catch up for hours. You can even bring a game to play to liven things up. Also, don’t forget to splurge on a scone or a cookie while you’re there!

 

Find out how to save money on girls night so you can recharge! #girlsnight Click To Tweet

 

Take a Free Class at Michaels

Okay, this one doesn’t typically happen at night but it is an awesome and inexpensive way to get some time with your girlfriends. The classes are free and even if you have to buy supplies it won’t cost much. Michaels will also typically let you bring in food and drink. Simply call your local store and check their policies beforehand. If your only option is to get together with the girls in the evenings you can also try Paint and Sip Parties although these tend to be a little more expensive.

Try Karaoke

Most karaoke is free to attend and participate in. The reason for this is because the venue expects that patrons will drink. You don’t have to imbibe to have a fun night out. One piece of advice before you go: even if you’re trying to do a girls night on the cheap, don’t forget to tip the bartender or waiter for your water. He or she is still serving you and taking care of your group that night.

 

 It’s important to your well-being to get out of the house and spend time with friends. To help motivate you, I’m sharing my awesome ideas to save money on girls night.

There you have it! All that is left for you to do is call the girls and ask them when they are free to get together. These awesome ideas to save money on girls night will make guilt-free fun a part of your life again. Do you have any tips for saving money on girls night? Share them with us in the comments so we can bring back the fun!

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

Creating Your Future: March 2017 Goals

You may be wondering why I would share my goals and evaluations each month. More importantly, you may be wondering how it helps you. I share my goals with you each month for many reasons. One reason is accountability. If you set goals each month but no one knows about them, it is easier to push them back and put them off. The second reason is that I want you to be inspired to set and achieve your own goals each month. The third, and one of the most important reasons, is that I want you to see the evaluation process at work. Not achieving a goal you set can be good if you truly reflect and take a hard look at why you didn’t achieve it. That is how you grow. So take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

 

Find out how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals and how you can too! Click To Tweet

 

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

February 2017 Evaluation

Business Goals

Continue Product Work – Fail?

Do you ever get stuck on a project? That is what has happened to me. I set aside time each weekday to work on this and I sat staring at pages of notes and outlines. That is why I’m not sure if this is a fail. The tiny snippets that came to me don’t feel like accomplishing much.

Finish Posts in Editorial Calendar – Success

Okay, so I didn’t finish every single one. In fact, there are things for Easter posts that I couldn’t even find in stores yet. However, I am ahead on posts and I continue to get further ahead each day. This has been huge for me, as you can imagine.

Build Twitter Following to 5,000 – Fail

I haven’t cracked that magical formula yet. In the last few weeks I have been seeing progress but no huge leaps. I am continuing to see growth. I will preserver in this.

Finance Goals

Reorganize Finances – Success

This was definitely priority number one for me. I can’t focus on anything if I don’t know that my finances are in order. Thankfully, everything is re-organized and back on track.

Save Something – Success

It wasn’t much but I managed to save $50. The best part is that by the end of March I have it budgeted to save up to $500. Can’t wait to see that $1000 finish line!

Organization Goals

Finish Office – Fail

Why is this failing for the 2nd month in a row? TOO. MUCH. STUFF. I now have boxes of items and supplies to get rid of and still don’t have a place for everything. It is time to do a second round of purging.

Continue Purging – Success

I am like a machine. With every load of laundry I keep a box handy for outdated or unused clothes. As rooms get cleaned, excess items go into a box. By the end of March I plan to have a home that is thousands of pounds lighter.

Self-Improvement Goals

5,000 Steps Daily – Fail

I am super disappointed in this one. I have added more dancing to my day (which is pretty impressive considering how much I already randomly burst into dance). I’ve also made sure that I get up and move each time my Jawbone vibrates. We now have a treadmill that I plan to spend an hour on each day. I hope that this helps me reach above and beyond my step goal.

Make More Time for Friends – Success

I was much better at making time for friends. There is still room for improvement but I am well on my way to a more balanced life.

Family Goals

Continue Family Meetings – Success

We haven’t found out weekly rhythm but we are still having family meetings. I think that finding the day and time that fit best is the biggest challenge.

Regular Zoo Trips – Fail

We didn’t make it to the zoo once in February. This is one that I intend to try again in March. I’m hoping that going ahead and putting zoo trips on the calendar will make them more likely to happen. The eventually warming weather should help too.

 

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

March 2017 Goals

Business Goals

  • E.B.A. 3.0 – I am so excited to be taking this! I took Elite Blog Academy last year but the changes Ruth has made are extremely exciting. I have actually already started on the course and I love it!
  • Grow Twitter to 5,000 – Yes, I am continuing to focus on growing Twitter. I refuse to give up! P.S. I’m taking part in an awesome giveaway this month that will focus on this! Yay!
  • Continue on Editorial – It is amazing watching my hard work pay off and I want to continue with that momentum. If I can keep up this pace, I will be done with my May posts by the end of this month!

Finance Goals

  • Business Finance Plan – It occurred to me that I am super obsessive about my personal finances yet I’m not doing the same for my business finances. I keep an expense schedule and a register. That’s it. I need to start planning ahead with my business finances as I do with my personal finances.
  • Build Saving to $500 – As I said earlier, I have built this into the budget. Hopefully I can stretch it to even more.

Organization Goals

  • Ruthless Purge – It is time to go room by room and ruthlessly get rid of items. This is my trial run before running a challenge for you in April. A clean home makes for a clear mind.
  • Finish Office – Yet again I am going to make this a goal. I need my organized office back. That is why I’m going to devote 20 minutes every single day to get it done.

Self-Improvement Goals

  • Reach 5,000 Daily Steps – The treadmill should make this entirely reachable. This is another goal that I’m determined to reach.
  • Continue Improving Balance – I will continue to work on those goals that help me achieve a better life balance. That includes continuing to make time for friends and for myself. I can’t be productive if I don’t take the time to recharge.

Family Goals

  • Zoo Trips on the Calendar – As I said above, I hope that by getting these on the calendar I can make sure that they happen. No more ad-hocking it.
  • Family Meetings – I want to get these on a finalized schedule that works for us.

 

It is time to rock your goals again! Take a look at what worked for me last month and how I plan to achieve my March 2017 goals!

There you have it! If you take a peek at November’s goals from last year you can see how far I’ve already come. You can have that, too. See a steady growth in your life and yourself with monthly goals. Don’t forget to grab your Free Monthly Goal Setting Planner to help you be as successful as possible. Creating your future is easy when you have the right tools. What are you waiting for?

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.
Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

8 Tips for Dealing with Depression

Dealing with depression isn’t easy. Cultural stigma tells you to get over it. Friends and family don’t understand it. Then add on the fact that everyone is different so there is no standard treatment and it feels like a battle you can’t win. I would love to tell you I have a magic cure but I don’t. Instead, I can share with you my 8 tips for dealing with depression after nearly 20 years of doing so.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. #depression Click To Tweet

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Plan Ahead

It sounds so simple but you need to be specific. Bad days are going to come when you can’t function like you need to. Right now you’re trying to power through but that can actually make it worse. Don’t try to power through and instead plan ahead for these days.

  • Have freezer meals ready to throw in the oven or in the Crock-Pot.
  • Stash a set of clean clothes for each of your kids in case you can’t do laundry.
  • Batch your work so that you are ahead when bad days hit.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Have a Bag of Tricks

Keep a physical list of things that can improve your mood. Think of this list as your bag of tricks that you can pull from on bad days. Maybe getting lost in a good book helps you pull out of it. It may take some time but any time an activity helps make the bad days a little better, write it on your list. My top 3 activities are:

  1. Throwing on headphones and blasting music: I usually start with sad songs but put my IPod on shuffle so upbeat songs eventually come on. This keeps me from wallowing.
  2. Getting sunlight or visiting a tanning bed: In the summer this is easier because I can go outside and the sun physically warms me up. That helps warm my mood, too.
  3. Taking a nap or going to bed early: When I sleep it helps my levels go back to normal. While this one isn’t always an option, it does always help.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Be Open About It

I’m not saying have an all-out breakdown in front of people. None of my friends or extended family have seen me on the days that I am literally rocking in a corner bawling my eyes out. However, everyone in my life knows that I have depression and also that some days I am just going to be different. Trying to hide it isn’t worth it. Let people know when you’re having a bad day. If they can’t handle that, you don’t need them in your life.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Meal Plan

This goes along with planning ahead. If you have a weekly meal plan in place you can easily shuffle meals if needed. Move frozen pizza night to Tuesday and switch stir fry to Friday. Also, don’t forget about lunches if you have little ones at home during the day. Don’t feel guilty about heating up leftovers or serving a cheese sandwich for lunch. Your kids will love it, anyway.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Create Kid Kits

Speaking of kids, being a mom doesn’t stop when depression hits hard. Creating kid kits will make life so much easier. Keep a bag stocked with new, quiet toys and activities. When a bad day happens, surprise your kids with something from the bag. They will love getting a new surprise and it will help keep them entertained when you don’t have the energy. To help you out, here are some ideas for what to put in the bag:

  1. Coloring Books
  2. Crayons
  3. Puzzles
  4. Movies
  5. Dolls
  6. Figurines
  7. Play-Doh
  8. ISpy Books
  9. Hand-Held Mazes
  10. Magnetic Draw Pad
  11. Lego Kits
  12. Memory Game
  13. Look and Feel Book
  14. Deck of Cards

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Be Specific

Friends and family don’t know what you need. Be specific when telling them what you need, how they can help, and what is currently going on. If you need your husband to take the kids outside so that you can have some quiet, tell him. When friends keep calling and you can’t deal with it, tell them. Not everyone is going to understand and that’s okay. They simply have to respect it. My mom doesn’t love the fact that I can’t always bring myself to respond to her but she respects that sometimes it may be 24 hours before I can let her know that I’m okay. If I’m still not up for talking, a simple text will suffice. These are the specifics and boundaries that you need to set.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Keep Your Home Clean

Trust me; I know how hard this is. I have small kiddos, a tiny kitchen, and too much stuff. My house is always a mess. When you add a bad depression day to that mixture you get so far behind that it is a monster to tackle. If you can’t keep your whole house clean, aim for one room. For me, that room is my office because it is the only room in the house that no one else is allowed in. However, I actually recommend that you do it with your bedroom. If you can keep your bedroom clean then you will have one room to retreat to that doesn’t feel like it is adding to the chaos going on inside of you.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Don’t Be Ashamed to Take Meds

Honestly, I see so many people who write, post, and talk about avoiding medicine at any cost. Decide right now that your life is worth more than that. My body is sick and cannot produce the chemicals that I need to keep from spiraling into depression. No amount of positive thinking, therapy, or homeopathic remedy can “fix” that. It is the same as needing to take insulin to process sugar. So don’t be ashamed if you need medicine and don’t be afraid to speak up when it’s not working. There are a ton of different kinds in a variety of strengths so that you can find the perfect fit for your body and your depression.

 

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them.

Dealing with depression is hard. These tips can help make it easier. When the bad days come you can have tools to get through them. Even better, when you come out on the other side you won’t be as behind because of you planning ahead. Don’t let depression define you. It is simply a part of you and you are so much more than a single part.

See where I’m linking up!

mm
I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.