name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : July 2015


Friday Finds {Vol. 10} - The At-Home Gym

Happy Friday, friends! This week I want to share my favorite finds for an at-home gym. For the last few years, we have been members of a gym, but enter kids...and those trips get tricky. The best solution for us is to work out at home. Here are our tips for starting your personal fitness space.

Find Your Space

If you are limited on room, and kids have taken over your house, get creative. I use our office (now playroom) mainly because we have a great TV in there for playing my workout DVDs. It is a pain because that room needs to be cleaned often for me to have space, but we make it work. Clear a spot in your living room or bedroom and have access to a TV, computer, or iPad so you can play your workouts. Give yourself room - burpees can get ugly :)

Create/Collect Workouts

I am slowly building my workout library. I don't have much now, but I love rotating between these great programs. I also have access to Beachbody on Demand which includes many great workouts such as T25 and Insanity Max 30 as well as the workout programs I have purchased (they are automatically on my demand list).  I want to expand my program library so I will never get bored. If I am limited on time, I also create my own Tabata workout or do a search on Pinterest. There are plenty of great workouts available to you. You just need to make time to do it.

Utilize Useful Equipment

I recommend keeping three sets of weights in your home. I have 5 lb., 8 lb., and 10 lb. weights. Depending on the exercise and/or program, I may use them all in a workout. I also like having a band on hand as well. All of these pieces can be purchased at Academy or Target. In our garage where there is more room, we have a (1) stability ball, weight bench, and (2) a medicine ball. I can go to Beachbody on Demand and complete the workout there on an iPad or even on my phone. But, for these hot Houston summers, I'll stick to the A/C.

One critical piece of equipment is a (3) mat or (4) exercise floor. We use both for our at-home workouts. 


(1) Stability Ball
(2) Everlast Medicine Ball

(3) Exercise Mat
(4) Flooring
Seek Support 

Even when you're working out at home, you need support. I regularly check in with my support team to get tips, recommendations, and encouragement. Seek help from others when you're feeling in a rut or when you want to share your accomplishments. Accountability partners are the best. Look for @inkedfitnessprincess and @bump2buff on Instagram for amazing ideas. You can also search the hashtag #workoutathome or #nogymrequired for some great examples. 

Megan, my trainer/accountability partner and dear friend, creates great workouts for me when attending her boot camp. She is here sharing her favorite workout equipment - the Go Fit Power Loops (can be purchased at Academy or Target).

This fantastic fitness find was introduced to me before I became a personal trainer, and I have never wavered from incorporating them in my client’s routines and in the routines I create for myself. The package contains 3 resistance bands of different intensity - 10lb. 15lb. 5lb. - and a training book. These bands may be little, but their effect is huge! Resistance bands are a very diverse piece of workout equipment so get creative! I like to use them primarily for glutes. My personal favorites are lateral step (or peguin walk as I like to call them) or standing hip extensions (forward, side, and back). Hip extensions will help tremendously with your range of motion in your hip flexors and also serve as a great warm up for your hips before leg day. Both will be sure to get that booty burnin’!

I never thought I would like working out at home. The gym was great to get away for a bit, but with our busy schedules, finding my 30 minutes is easier to do at home on most days. Get up early, complete it during nap time, after work, or after the kids go to bed - and you don't have to factor in travel time to and from the gym. 

It's a learning experience, and I am learning every time I work out. My dream is to have a complete home gym - without having to move toys out of the way - and a space all my own. 

Remember - we are getting our next challenge group together right now. So far, we have 6 couples ready to rumble! It's a great way to start your at-home gym RIGHT NOW! *Click on the CURRENT CHALLENGE link at the top of the blog for more info*

With Love,


Couple's Challenge

Summer is winding's time to get back in the groove. I am going to miss my big 1st grader once school starts, but there is something to say about routine. We all crave it.

But, there is something new I want to incorporate into our lifestyles - to include my husband into my workouts. His work schedule has been crazy which results in stress and bad choices. So, I may be switching my workout times to the evenings so we can do them together. 

One year ago, when I began getting serious about working out and considered Beachbody, he was hesitant. Now that he sees my commitment and goals, he did not balk when we discussed this opportunity again a few month ago, and now...I've convinced him that these workouts are legit. Body Beast, and away we go!

Two of my friends, Kristin and Page, have successfully encouraged their husbands to workout with them, and they going strong. It's the perfect date night. Since these hubbies have been on board, I thought why not make this a challenge? And since men are competitive, maybe some friendly wagers too?

Here's how it works -

1. We will officially start the challenge September 1. Summer is over; school is in session -#winwin
2. We will complete the Body Beast program from start to finish. BUT, we will pause at the month mark for results and awesome prizes!
3. We will support each other with encouragement, accountability, and maybe some trash talk :) (well...not a lot but just a little)
4. We will have an awesome meal plan but will also share our own healthy recipes.
5. We will tone and strengthen while supportin' and lovin'!

If you are interested in learning more, contact me. I can't wait to get started. Since my husband's work schedule has been so crazy, I am looking forward to this time together. Are you in?? #datenightredefined

With Love,


Weekly Meal Plan - Easy Dinners

When planning our meals this week, I took a quick peek at what we have on hand and used these ingredients as my jumping board for the meal prep. We had a big grocery bill last week, so I am keeping it easy-peasy this time around. 

And I am so excited my friend, Page, told me about the new inserts for my Erin Condren planner. I love this planner and now even more because you can get these helpful additions. Thanks for sharing, Page!

I have the following goodies on hand and will use them this week:
Chicken breast
Ground turkey
Sweet potatoes
Cucumbers (garden fresh)

The first four items were purchased at Costco last week, and I froze them in portions perfect for us. We still have them and will use them this week #costcoforthewin :)

Monday - Grilled tilapia (seasoned with salt-free Mrs. Dash and grilled) with roasted veggies

Tuesday - Turkey and sweet potato tacos

Wednesday - Salmon and roasted veggies

Thursday - Chicken pesto bake/cucumber salad 
(sliced cucumbers with preferred seasonings and dressing)

Friday - OUT TO DINNER (Girls' Night to see Magic Mike - no cooking for mommy!)

To make my life easier for the week, I did my meal prep on Sunday. I washed and rinsed all my fruits and veggies so they will be ready for use. I also made these delicious egg "muffins" to grab for breakfast. My kids are egg freaks so this will go quickly. You can add the veggies as suggested, but you can also include turkey sausage or bacon, tomatoes, cheese, ham, or whatever makes you happy. I will keep it simple for the kiddos - bacon and cheese.

I also froze halves of bananas and a pint of blueberries for my morning shakes. I like the icy texture these fruits give to my Shakeology. 

I plan to roast veggies for a health side option for our fish dishes this week. And as luck would have it, I found all of these veggies picture below at Kroger - all in the same container. I just need to rinse, chop, and roast. Perfection. 

And let's not forget an easy option for the tired mama - a salad. I still have some mixed greens on hand so a quick salad would be great too. Add in your favorite veggies, boiled egg, leftover meats/fish, and you've got yourselves a salad. I am LOVING this dressing - made with yogurt! I will use it on my cucumber salad too. 

Click on the links on the dinner items for recipes. Enjoy a healthy week of good eats and treats! And...I look forward to a Friday date with Channing and friends :)

With Love,


Friday Finds {Vol. 9}

Hip hip hooray for Friday! It's my hubs' day off too so we are taking our big boy on a solo date - just us and big bro at Top Golf. Anyone ever been? Look for pics on Instagram - you can see my link to the right!

For this Friday, here's what I'm finding FUN, FANTASTIC, and FABULOUS :)

The 21 Day Fix Extreme

You've heard me say that the original 21 Day Fix was my starter in my fitness journey so I had to step it up with the latest fix. I mix it up with some Body Beast, and I LOVE IT. It's the same design but tougher workouts. But, the best part?? Each workout is 30 minutes, and you will WORK. In fact, my dear friend is working hard in my challenge group and her once resistant hubby is joining in the fun. He asks her to wait for him to do the workouts - LOVE. IT. Click HERE to see how this great workout is designed.

Tabata Workouts

Are you short on time? Do you need more direction? My go-to for short, quick yet effective workouts is Pinterest (you can also click on the Pinterest icon to the right and see my pins. Look under "Healthy Living" for workout ideas). Here is one I am loving this week. You can do them solo or add them to your daily workout. Click HERE and HERE to see how a Tabata works - intense, yet short workouts to leave you a sweaty mess!

20 minute workout
Our Garden

What fitness plan is complete without some healthy eats? We started a garden in the early spring and have done well. We are loving the cucumbers, peppers, okra, and cilantro. Our cantaloupes are getting bigger and multiplying - we may need to start a farmer's market soon :)  I love that I can walk outside for some cilantro on taco night. Unfortunately, our tomatoes didn't do so well. If you are a gardener and have tips for a beginner, I would love to hear them!

Party Planning

Someone in our house is turning TWO pretty soon, and I am knee-deep in party planning. Last year, we celebrated with PINK. This year, our Minnie-loving lady is having a Minnie party. I plan to make some strawberry margaritas because...duh. I am doing a trial run this weekend with these bad boys. Who wants to come over??

How is this pink and gold princess almost 2??
Strawberry Margarita Punch! SO EASY and delicious. Make this for every BBQ! Favorite #cocktail ever
I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and find happiness, fun, and relaxation in your weekend! Catch you back on Monday with some more meal planning!

With Love,


Why Moms Should Try Exercise

You know the drill, you've seen the research... exercise is GOOD for you. We have been taught that for a very long time. You have heard me say bits and pieces as to why I do it. It's for my anxiety, sanity, mental just makes me better, so I make it a priority. My hope is that no matter your lifestyle, you fit it in so you can feel so much better - more inside than out.

I wanted to share my reasons for doing what I do - especially as a busy mom. Don't find time, MAKE time. And I hope these reasons motivate you to make that time soon!

Mommy Brain

Raise your hand if you know what I'm sayin'. I can remember many times being on the phone then telling the person to hold because I can't find my phone. For reals. Or, do you call your kids the wrong names? #raiseshand. Exercise improves brain function. I completely believe it. When I am able to work out in the morning, for just 30 minutes, I am more focused for the day. And I need focus when my toddler is climbing all the live long day.

Be a Good Example

My toddler sees me grab my tennis shoes and says "Mommy work out?" Or my son asks to workout with me because he knows he can get stronger. That makes my heart soar. When they see me moving, they want to move too. Just yesterday, my TV-lovin' son says he needs to stop being lazy and move more. Proud moment for sure. They are watching.

Be a Nicer Mommy

When I get my 30 minutes in or I am able to attend my boot camp class, I feel awesome. That time makes me nicer - to everyone. I know in that time I am making myself better which gives me a boost - something that makes the world look different. Cheesy? Yes. True? Absolutely.  Honestly, try 30 minutes of alone time for anything - pray, get up earlier and drink your coffee, head to the store alone, escape to read a book. Just get that time in for you and do something to recharge.

Sleep Better

When I would lie in bed at night, my mind would race with worries and to-do lists. Since I have made a commitment to working out 5-6 days a week, I honestly can tell you I sleep soundly. And, we all know sleep is critical to our health but even more so when you have toddlers to wrangle all day long. 

Improve Body Image

You know what you feel like after having a baby, and it's not Miss America. Your body takes a beating due to birth, nursing, carrying a human being, and just being so damn tired. It took me almost 15 months to gain stamina and settle into a routine. These journeys aren't easy and they don't happen over night, but once you feel better because of your hard work - you see just how beautiful you are after becoming a mom. 

Get Therapy

I am no stranger to anxiety - I've dealt with it all my life, especially after my dad died. When I first started having panic attacks, I sought the help of my doctor. He encouraged exercise. And guess what? Doc was right. It's therapeutic for me - toss in some fit friends to push and encourage me, it's like free counseling. Weirdly enough, when I feel anxiety coming on, I don't retreat into my hole like I use to, I move. And that has made all the difference.

I am in the process of getting certified so I can learn even more specifics about the benefits of exercise and nutrition. But for now...these reasons best describe why I, as a busy mom, need to keep active. Yes, it's not easy in our lives, but I promise that when you make this time for yourself, you will greatly reap the benefits.

If I can help you in any way or share more of my story, email me. I am here to help. 

With Love,


Weekly Meal Plan - Snack Planning

Mingle Monday - see where I'm linking up today! Click HERE

When I do my weekly meal plans, I often overlook snack time. Well, the kids are easy - fruit, yogurts, goldfish - we are always lock and loaded for them. But, I am so crazy during the day, I have to remind myself to stop and get a snack for myself. 

I am learning so much about nutrition in my fitness journey. In the past, I would work out then go eat whatever I wanted - in my mind, I worked out so I could eat it all. It took me some time to realize that is not how it works; every meal needs to be thought out and planned - even my snacks. 

I try to eat two snacks a day - one in between breakfast and lunch; another between lunch and dinner. I wanted to share some snack ideas that work for me and that I include in my weekly plans.


I do love all those flavored nuts - especially the smokehouse Almonds #yum - but, I now buy the unsalted version of most nuts. On our Costco run this week, I bought these babies. Between the hubs and myself, we will easily take these down within a week. Just grab a handful for your snack and you're good to go. 


My favorite snack especially in the summer. We always keep grapes, berries, apples, peaches, and bananas close by, and they go quickly because we are all fans. I LOVE to slice apples and dip them in peanut butter. Currently, this pb is our favorite for dipping. 

Our favorite peanut butter - perfect for a snack!

The kids love the yogurt tubes - Siggi's is our choice - and the littlest loves when I freeze them and slice them up for her. Less of a mess with that one! For me, I get the plain Greek yogurt. And honestly, I don't like it plain so I scoop in some peanut butter or drizzle with our local honey and top with fruits and or granola (like this one mentioned HERE.)


You know I love my shakes. However, it has taken me a while to perfect MY most enjoyable shake. I noticed that the ice makes mine so thick, and I don't like it that way so I have been leaving out the ice. Something was missing so I tried frozen fruits, and boom. So far, my favorite is to add frozen blueberries to my morning shakes, and they give the shake the perfect icy texture I like.

Shakeology fans - try this one:
1 scoop of Chocolate Shakeology
1 scoop of PB2
1 handful frozen blueberries
10 oz unsweetened almond milk
Blend and ENJOY!


We always boil a bunch of eggs on Sunday and keep them on hand for the week. For a snack one day, I may have 2 eggs with some fruit. The kids LOVE them too. They are filling and make it easy to transition to the next meal without being super hungry.

Deli Meat

I also like to take 1 or 2 slices of my deli meat (Applegate brand is great) in addition to my fruits for a quick snack. The slices are so easy to grab and go. 


The key to your snack is to prepare. Before, I would just open the pantry and grab chips or Oreos (and whatever you do, DO NOT buy the thins. Sweet bad tempation) to hold me over to the next big meal. And, they never took me far. I really think clean snacking has been key in my change so far. I try not to keep certain temptations in my house because if they are here, chances are I am going for it.

I challenge you to think about your snacks when making your grocery list. Look ahead at your schedule and see if you have time to prepare a good snack or if you have to grab it and go. Healthy snacking makes a big difference, and you will not be starving at your next meal if you had something good to hold you over until then.

If you have any other great snack ideas, I would love to hear them. I am always looking to add delish treats to my plans. Have a great week!

Remember - you can learn more about clean eating through the 1 Week Food Fix I just completed. This last week helped me understand how important clean snacks are in your daily meals. Check it out HERE.


Friday Finds {Vol. 8} - Anniversary Edition

**See where I am linking up HERE for some Friday Favorites**

Today is our 11th wedding anniversary. Wowza. We have had a crazy, beautiful ride since the big party in 2004. Each year, we love to look at our wedding album and relive that night - our son thinks it's amazing and wants to know why he wasn't there. It's good thing he wasn't because it got a bit wild - the party went on into the night, people ended up swimming in their tuxes/dresses, a certain usher may or may not have had a concussion, and a friend had her baby a bit early after watching my husband dance (she pretty much laughed herself into labor). As a guest and good friend said, "that was the best spring break ever." (We got married in July).

Since that crazy, fun night, we have had quite the ride - up and down, down and up - but, it's overall been an awesome gift. When you make those vows on your wedding day, it's hard to see how important they are at that moment. You don't realize the importance of those promises on the day you make them. You definitely don't realize it until you have children, job worries, and unexpected life changes. Then, "to have and to hold" and "for better and for worse" really come into play. I don't have wise marriage advice, I just know you have to push when these crazy times are upon you. When kids are sick, when your job is too much and you're not happy, or when one spouse is struggling internally, you may have to dig deep when you really want to run away. 

My late daddy's fishing fly and my late grandmother's rosary on my bouquet.
One of my favorite wedding details.
For me, I am a worrier. I am a planner. I like control. For my husband, he is not any of these things. And it works for me. Don't get me wrong, when I panic, he may not always know the right thing to say (#men), but just knowing he is there and KNOWS me and what I need is enough. "Love Song" by Miranda Lambert perfectly explains how life and marriage go hand in hand. We know each other well; we know when to give space; and we know when to just hug it out. 

To my husband, we've made it far. We've made a pretty rad family. It's not easy, it's not always rainbows, but we work; we fix; we try. That's why I love you and that's what I wish for any marriage. Happy 11th Anniversary, Pocket. Alligator food. 

I was standing there crying in the kitchen
It's been one of those mornings that's gonna last all day
And he comes in, wraps his arms around me
And I don't even have to say a thing

That's what makes it love
That's what makes it a love song

He comes in, slams the door behind him
And he can't hide the worry on his face
Even though I got a million things to tell him
I know right now he just needs some space

That's what makes it love
That's what makes it a love song
That's what makes it love
That's what makes it a love song

Everybody always sings about it
How they're never gonna live without it
We don't even have to talk about it
'Cuz We're livin it out

That's what makes it love
That's what makes it a love song
That's what makes it love
That's what makes it a love song


More Than a Workout

I am so excited to guest blog over at Cleaneating Mommy. I am sharing how working out and fitness are more than just sweat and physical changes. Thanks so much for letting me share my story. 

Click HERE to see my guest post.


The "Brutiful" Mommy Life

I am also guest posting HERE - thanks so much, Clean Eating Mommy, for having me!


“If it’s easy and shiny - beware. If it stings a little - sit tight, get curious, then lean in.” Glennon, at Momastery, gets it; she just GETS it. She often says life is “brutiful” - the brutal ALWAYS transforms into the beautiful. I’ve had the brutal, sometimes I still feel the brutal leftovers, but she is right. It always turns to beauty.

After working for 13 years as a teacher/counselor, I decided to make a change for our family and stay at home. I really did love my job, but I knew I needed to stop. I was happy, but I felt like there was more for me, and people even questioned why I gave up what I worked so hard to complete. At times, the change was brutal - lonely, confusing, scary, and sometimes sad. I was in a different world, a completely different realm from where I lived comfortably for so long. I waited. I searched. I wanted the beautiful to come with my change.

When this last year started, I wrote down some goals because I wanted to eliminate the wonder and loneliness of my stay at home job. I wanted to write, to share my fitness goals, to become a teacher of another kind. I hesitated often because I was scared again - would it be too brutal to make all these things happen? I knew I gave up my previous career for my kids, but I wanted something for me again - something that gave ME a purpose. And I jumped in - a blogger, a fitness coach, and training to be a fitness instructor. It’s all happening after a lot of wondering.

The fear, the giving up of an old happiness, the goals - I did it. I felt like as a mom, I was okay with just being a mom. And don’t get me wrong, I am so happy. But, I am also thrilled with finding a new happiness - something that is for me, something I am sure will be brutal in the process, but so awesome in the end.

If you are a mom who is unhappy, find something for YOU. If you are working mom, find time for you and do your research. Maybe there is something more out there. And from my perspective, it doesn’t happen overnight. It may take a while and be rough, bumpy, and tiring, but just think about how beautiful it can be at the end. Moms deserve dreams too; we deserve the time to reach our goals; and we deserve to be an amazing role model for our beautiful kids.

Seek out those who can help you; reach out to someone who is in the role you want to be in one day. That’s exactly what I did, and I found the foundation to do more. Life isn’t always brutal; it isn’t always beautiful. But, it can be anything you make of it - we don’t have to be young and carefree to have goals.

I think if anyone knows how “brutiful” life can be, it’s the busy mom. Let it sting a little, it’s suppose to; just lean in and go.


Weekly Meal Plan - 1 Week Food Fix

This week, I am being a bit more structured with our meals - which means EVERY meal is planned out for us. I've shopped, prepped, and cooked; we are ready for the 1 Week Food Fix.

I am so excited to partner with Christy (aka The Tiny Little Chef) and focus on healthy eating. I make working out a habit most days of the week, but I often fail with nutrition. Mama likes queso, margaritas, chips, and salsa. A lot. Focusing on nutrition has been a goal for me for quite a while. However, when the mom life (or life is general) gets stressful, I make bad choices. Everything in moderation should be a motto for all of us to follow because that's what life allows. We are social, and food is often the center of our get togethers, and I LOVE that. But, I need to focus on better choices the majority of the time - for me and my family. 
My food prep and calendar for the week - I even made fresh hummus, and it's delish! Thanks, Christy!
Here are Christy's words about the 1 Week Food Fix -
Are eating and nutrition your downfall? Are you not sure how much to eat? When to eat it? How to pair your foods together? Are you looking to kickstart your metabolism, and reduce the toxins in your body? Would you like to lose the bloating and fatigue? Look no further! I have designed a 1 week food roadmap for you, with no stone left unturned.
After working with many Nutrition clients, I have created this very specific, 1 Week Food Fix™. Many of my clients have done my 2, 4, and 6 week meal plans, but I found that most people wanted, and needed, a foolproof 1 week weight loss kickstart. I will tell you what to eat, 5 times a day, for 7 days. I will teach you new, healthy, delicious, Chef created recipes, and I will help you set a foundation for healthy eating for the rest of your life.
What does the 1 Week Food Fix™ Include?
This 35 page booklet includes the following sections:
About Tiny Little Chef
Guidelines for Success and Additional Tips, including modifications for nursing moms, athletes in training, and very active men
The Importance of your Mindset
Portion Sizes and Permitted Substitutions (in every category!)
Food Photos (see below!)
Daily Meal Plan (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and 2 snacks a day with option for a third snack)
Cookbook with all the recipes in the Meal Plan
Shopping List
BONUS: In addition, you will also receive Tiny Little Chef's Clean Eating Grocery List, to help guide you after you have finished the program.
What can you expect from the 1 Week Food Fix™?
If you stick to the plan as outlined, you can expect;
An elimination of excess water weight.
Weight loss (the rate depends on how much you initially have to lose, but usually between 2-5 lbs)
Reduction of sugar, and processed food, cravings.
Better understanding of what, and how much you should be eating to fuel your body for weight loss, and more!
Take a look at just some of the recipes that are included in the meal plan:
Spinach and Feta Fritatta
Mixed Berry Overnight Oats
Protein Pancakes
BLT Salad
Turkey Taco Salad
Tuna Stuffed Avocado
Lemon and Garlic Hummus
Grilled Chicken Parmesan
Bacon Wrapped Chicken
and much more! (see storefront gallery photos)
Please visit to purchase your copy, and remember to please select my name from the drop down menu at checkout. 
I can't wait to see how I feel after these 7 days. If you have questions, please visit Christy's site or send me a note. If you join us, you will be added to a support group of some awesome folks. 

Happy, healthy eating!

See where I'm linking up this week :) Click HERE.


Friday Finds {Vol. 7}

It's Friday, friends. I am finding this Friday more spectacular than most. Since the stomach bug ended our 4th with a bang, this week has been tough to catch up and recover. In fact, we were suppose to head out of town this weekend, but I am too traumatized to leave again. So, this weekend...we rest.

Just a quick list of my Friday finds for you today -

Love Crunch. Go get it and you're welcome. This week, I just grabbed a handful and BOOM...dessert. Put it on top of your yogurt too. Delish, my friends. It comes in many flavors, and I got mine at Whole Foods.

Spa Water. Speaking of Whole Foods, this water was such a nice treat on our latest shopping trip. I am inspired to make my own ASAP. And, as luck has it. my friend Kristy at Seven Graces posted some great spa water recipes. Go check it out HERE. I can bet you I will make some next week. (This water has strawberries, lemon, and basil. I had another with lemon and ginger. Refreshing.).

Margaritas. Since we are talking refreshing drinks, let's discuss this goodness I found via Pinterest. Squeezing the limes can give you a workout, but the end result is WORTH. IT. We plan on having neighbors over for fajitas this weekend, so this will be a very nice addition. Click HERE for the recipe. 

This girl. She alternates between cracking me up and making me drink those margaritas mentioned above :) The cracking up part definitely revolves around her talking and expanding vocabulary - especially when she mentions a certain Houston Texan. 

TGIF! I hope it's relaxing and refreshing! Chat soon!


When Mommy Needs a Time-Out

My son had a chair in our dining room where he would go to “time-out” as needed. And, let me assure you, between ages 3 and 4, he frequented that chair quite a bit. Now, his little sister is starting to follow in his footsteps - it’s about to get fun, folks. 

But what about you? Moms need a time-out too.

I know they say to leave the littles for one minute per age - so my son would spend 3-4 minutes there. Wouldn’t it be great if moms could go sit in a corner, alone and quiet, following that same rule? I’d be in my thinking chair for almost 40 minutes. SIGN ME UP, PEOPLE.

There are so many things coming at us from different directions - from the physical challenge that comes with kids (do they ever SIT DOWN?) to the mental (please let me leave this store calmly while my cute, precious child throws her fit). WE ARE EXHAUSTED. So, in our case, time out is a good thing, one I encourage every mom to start stat.

How in the world do we do this as moms? How do we sneak away for our own quiet time? I thought I had it figured out when I had just one little love muffin, but now that there’s two, it took some planning, patience, and determination. Here’s how I take my time-outs:

Get a calendar. AND USE IT. Not just for the kid’s classes, play dates, and dentist appointments, but call/text a friend and put a plan in motion. I am so excited that I have a dinner date with some dear friends in 2 weeks. It’s on that calendar, and it’s not moving. Now, the hubs knows he’s in charge, and you get to look forward to alone time. With wine. Or ice cream.

Find your quiet time. I like to get up earlier than the kids. Sure, I could sleep in and let them wake me up, but there is nothing quite like the morning when I feel like I am the only one in the world. Get your workout on, drink your coffee in one sitting, watch the Today show instead of Dora. Maybe at first you can do it once or twice a week. I bet you will like that stillness that you do it more often. Another great idea - do a devotional and journal. I love hearing peaceful words before a busy day. If mornings don’t work, try nap time. When the littlest is napping, the biggest watches Netflix for a bit. Quiet time for everyone. Win-win.

Pick one night a week. And as Elsa says, LET IT GO. Hubs can get dinner or maybe do the bedtime routine while you take a bath. Or sit outside and enjoy a good book. I know - this one may be hard if you’re doing most of the work or if you are Type A like me. Sometimes, I will go to Target alone and just walk around and see what that quiet shopping thing is like (bonus points if you grab a Starbucks while browsing. A little piece of Heaven right there). Look at your calendars each week and pick your day - let everyone know that is mommy time and go hide away for a bit.

See? Time outs don’t sound so daunting now, do they? Don’t find time - MAKE TIME. We have so much on our plate, we need time to unwind and recharge. I HAVE to make time for this recharging, and I am grateful for my mommy friends who understand how dire alone time can be. Now, go get your calendars, look at your week ahead - what are you going to do for yourself? Trust me, everyone will thank you for it. Everyone loves a happy mommy.
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