Bullet Journal Winner

This is the Bullet Journal

We have a winner! Sara who said that until  now she has been keeping track with sticky notes and her phone which wasn’t working that well for her with 3 young children. Hopefully this will help.

Remember there is no wrong way to use a bullet journal and you can modify it to your needs.

Here are a few pages I added to my bullet journal this last month.

How do you use your planner/bullet journal?

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A great way to track how many eggs I am getting from my hens and yes I know exactly who played which egg.
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Loosing the baby weight has not been easy but I’m hoping some prizes will help keep me motivated. 

Journaling Through Unforgiveness.

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Today, I give thanks to all the people that have been in my life so far. Good, or bad, they have all touched my life in some way to shape me into the person I am today. They have all helped in the process of making me me. A mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, professional, homeowner, world traveler, career surfer (did this in my teens and early 20s), crafter, blogger, gardener wannabe, designer, thrifter, and mentor.

I love being in my 30s and having the maturity to be able to look back even on the people that treated me poorly and just be proud of myself for getting out of their way and keep them out of my life. Life is too short to let other people make it difficult but I also learned from these people how not to treat others. Then to be able to step back and forgive them for their trespasses. That is the most freeing of experiences. To just let it go. But I hold fast to the saying “Fool me once shame on you but fool me twice shame on me.” I have gotten very good at letting go most of the time. Sometimes I have to talk my self out of thinking poorly of couple of people. To stop breath and send them a prayer of goodwill and move on.

I’m thankful for every teacher I have had good and bad to show me how to be a good educator and how not to act while teaching. I plan on one day being an educator of some sort when I get older so I´m hoping that these experiences will help me help others learn. To be firm but fair.

Then there are those people that I have met in my lifetime that are amazing and I am really thankful for having gotten to know them and learn new ways of being awesome. Those people that shortly after you meet them you just know that there is something special about them and you just REALLY want to be their friend or just get to know them better. To maybe get to learn just what it is that makes them so great and maybe learn how to wield that for yourself.

These people all make up my world. They all helped me put together the building blocks that make me who I am. I have borrowed things I say or a way to do something from some person or another and by doing so made a unique me. As a life coach I have seen how getting stuck on how someone treated us can have a profound effect on how we move on in life. I’m not saying that it is that easy just to forgive and forget. It all has a process to it. But there is a quote out there somewhere that hate is like a poison you drink yourself and hope that the other person dies.

When have you felt that feeling of just having to get to know a person?

Have a story of learning from a relationship with someone but now being able to look back not with hurt but gratitude?

If you want to dive deeper into how to forgive others or yourself grab a notebook and start writing. Write everything that comes to mind. Even if it is really “nuts”. It is your brain trying to make sense of a situation that is hard to make sense of. When mom died and I had run out of words I sat and scribbled in my journal. I had to regress to a time where I still did not have words because the pain of losing her was so immense that there were no words but there was feeling and energy and it all flowed through the scribbles. So just let it all flow on to the page no matter what it is that comes out. Write until you feel empty and nothing comes out. Keep it up until you no longer feel ill will towards whomever it is that you can not forgive. It will not all happen in one session. It will take time and you will need to do this over and over again. But one day you will realize that you did not have those uncomfortable feeling towards the person.

How to Make Chia Drinks at Home

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IMG_20160320_094156I don’t know about you but I love these drinks but at over $4 a 10 oz bottle that is a little over my budget so I set out to harness the goodness of the chia seed on my own with out that high price tag. Chia seeds are high in OMEGA-3, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and protein. This seed is really a super food and the antioxidants help keep the oils in the seed from going bad for a long time. What I am most interested in is the study that shows that after taking in chia people had less inflammation in the body and a steadier blood sugar. So I plan on making a chia drink every day for the next 30 days and see if I see a difference at all in my allergies and joint pain.

Let me share my recipe

What you will need:

1 cup water

2.5 table spoons Chia Seed

1 cup of your favorite juice

a 16 oz jar that you don’t mind drinking out of.

Before bed, blend warm filtered water with the Chia Seed in the jar and stir well so that the seeds separate well. Then put the lid on and set in fridge overnight. When you get up the seeds and water should be in a gel state. Add the juice and stir well. If you don’t finish the drink straight away then store it in the fridge. I like juices with pulp in it but you can use whatever juice you really enjoy.

Do you use chia in your diet? How?

My New BulletJournal and Giveaway

Daily Page

Good day!

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Planner
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Gratitude Journal

 

As I have noted in the past I need my Inner Guide Planner and a Ta-Da List/Gratitude journal every work day to keep everything straight with my big family and keep my home and myself from falling into chaos. Or, what the Fly lady calls it, Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome (CHAOS).

I’ve sort of been playing with the Bullet Journal lay out in my Gratitude Journal but it was a real mess. I had used it for all kinds of things and let my kids draw in it to keep them good when out and about and I was ready to commit.

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New Bullet Journal

What is a Bullet Journal you ask? It is any notebook that is set up in a certain layout. The first page has your name and contact information so that if it gets lost then it can be returned to you. Then comes the index page where you will be able to write where you can find things in your journal.

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Index Page

Then there is the Key page where you show how you will be using the bullets in your journal.

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Key Page

Then you have the Full year or full month page. I went with month so that you have an overview of what the month will look like. Then your personal and if you have professional goals for the month on the page opposite the monthly overview.

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Month Page

And after that you start your journal.

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Daily Page

I use erasable pens and erasable markers in my journal because I like things neat and tend to make typos or not like the way something looks so I like to be able to erase and redo things. If you are starting out and don’t want to put that much money into it then you can use a pencil or your favorite pen. When starting out be frugal and use what you have so that you know you like the process of Bullet Journaling. Most people have a spare notebook laying around. If you like it then you can start getting fancy with it and get all the bells and whistles.

After looking at all the cool pics on Instagram of bullet journals and how you can adjust it to your own needs I was hooked. I had to get my own. I will be developing my own Bullet Journal style over the next few months and will be updating you on the way. I want to introduce you to the Bullet Journal now and what the basics are and then give some idea of how it can be modified to your needs. Most of the people I follow on Instagram are students that do not have a house to run or kids to take care of. So far I haven’t found a nice Bullet Journaler  that does have kids and ALL the stuff that comes with that. This helps me stay focused on my goals and keep me mindful of how much I do everyday.

I also add that day’s weather forecast so that I know what to expect.

My 3 oldest boys went to their grandparents for spring break and it shows in my activity level logged on FitBit that I have not been running all over town and constantly keeping a 3 year old from putting himself and others in harms way. To keep me mindful of keeping up with my steps I just add a bullet in my journal reminding me to meet my 6K steps that day and as I check in with my journal through the day to see what is left to do I can be reminded to stay on top of my steps.

I will be adding pages to help me with tracking my weigh loss and the prizes I will reward myself with when hitting my milestones and tracking how we are doing in paying down our debt. These will all be in future posts. I will have monthly budget pages which will be directly following my mostly goals and also lists of books I plan on reading. Blog posts I plan on writing and so on and so forth. You guys get my gist.

Now to the fun part. I bought myself a Moleskin bullet journal in a wonderful Teal color. I am going to do a giveaway to a lucky reader of a Bullet Journal of their own. A Moleskine Notebook that I will send you directly from Amazon to your house. This is open to the whole world. You will be able to enter to win your journal from today March 16 2016 until March 31st of 2016 11:59pm I will announce the winner on April 1st.

Just use this Entry-Form to enter the giveaway.

 

Introducing Ragnar Baldur

 

As I have told you in prior posts I was expecting a baby. That baby was born December 7th of last year. His name is Ragnar Baldur and he is the easiest baby I have ever had. He is both easy on the eyes and sleeps really well. He goes for 5-7 hour spurts at night. I am so lucky and thankful for his sleeping so well.

 

Since I have other kids I’m not getting much more than 6 hours at night but most nights it is continuous sleep which I have never had before with a little one like this.

He was less than a week old when I started to need to cart him to school Christmas events. He almost never fusses at being dragged all over creation as long as he is dry and not hungry then he usually just sleeps through it.

This mamma is just so in love with this little human. His brothers are so happily surprised that he doesn’t interrupt their lives too much and they are great helpers.

Pour Ragnar got really bad baby pimples. But they have since cleared up.

I’m sure you are thinking Ragnar Baldur is an interesting name to pick but if you watch the show Vikings (and if you don’t you really should because they are a really good depiction of what the viking culture was really like) then you might have noticed that the main character’s name is Ragnar. It means a warrior sent from the gods.

 

His middle name Baldur is a Nordic god name. The god of poetry and beauty. So now we have our oldest Odinn, the god of gods, our next oldest Magni, the god of strength, our 3rd child Alexander Thor the god of thunder, and now Baldur.

 

Ragnar was 10lbs 3oz at birth. Many of you might be thinking that that is big. It is not small. But Alexander Thor was 11lbs 14oz. I worked so hard this time not to have a giant baby by watching what I ate and going to the gym daily until I got sick and started coughing and didn’t stop. So the 3rd trimester I was not as active but I made sure I didn’t put on more than 29lbs and lost 21 of them giving birth.

 

When I need to get housework done and he is awake usually putting him in his bouncy chair with a toy will keep him busy for long enough to clean up the kitchen and start a load of laundry.

Waking up in the morning to this face never gets old. No matter how tired I am I smile and am thankful for all the love and beauty he brings to this family.

Most of the time when we have appointments for my son’s orthodontist or a Dr’s appointment this is the norm. He sleeps in his car seat and I knit or read something. During swim lessons he just hangs out in his ergo baby.

There have only been a hand full of days since this child was born where he just needed to be held and all else had to wait and during those days I hold him with gratitude for he will only be little once and since this is rare I have an excuse to just sit and snuggle him. My surprise baby that was far from planned.

 

Most of the time he is a happy laundry helper but in that pic you can see it is not ALL the time.

 

 

He found his thumb a couple of days ago. Magni and Alex also did that for a little while at this age but never got into it. But who knows, I might have my one and only thumb sucker.

Love his little baby voice. And that is it. Sorry about flooding you with images and videos. As you can tell I am head over heals about this guy. My surprise 4th. The baby I cried for 2 weeks over when I found out that he was on his way and I thought that I couldn’t handle any more children. But here he is and he is perfect.

Icelandic Tuna Salad

As my family grew from 5 to 6 people last December, we realized that the Mazda 5 did not work for us any longer. We needed something that would seat 6 people and still have trunk space which the Mazda did not. It sits 6 but as soon as both seats were up in the back there went the trunk. We couldn’t even go grocery shopping. Well, we went car shopping knowing that even though I NEVER thought that I would want a mini van I test drove a Honda Odyssey 2014 and I was hooked. It was more than we planned on spending. By 8K but we knew that the Hondas had a good reputation and all my mom friends that have had them have said that even though their Odyssey had over 200K miles on it, it was still going strong with out needing any work on it. We are working on getting debt free so we have a big payment for another 3 months to pay off a card so since we bought the big space ship of a van (my goodness I am spoiled and in love with that thing) we need to get frugal. So I had to give the grocery bill another look over and figure out how to cut costs for the next 3 months. Lunch meat is expensive so I started making egg salads. My chickens have started laying again after a long break this winter.
Here is how we make Tuna Salad in Iceland.

Ingredients 
1 can Tuna in water
8 hard boiled eggs
half cup Fried Onions (you know that kind that you make green bean casserole with)
enough Mayo to blend it all together to the consistency that you like just keep adding until it looks good to you.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Curry Powder
1/4 teaspoon Paprika

How to get it all together
Find a bowl that you can put a lid on after like the Pyrex bowls or just any glass bowl and use plastic wrap to cover it later. Peal and cut up your eggs. I use an egg cutter for finer and quicker work but you can use a knife if you don’t have one. Open the can of tuna and drain it. Add the tuna to the eggs. Then add the fried onions and add at first 3 table spoons Mayo and stir but keep adding more until the salad is not too dry. Then add the spices and blend them in well. Taste it and see if there is enough to your liking. Some people like more salt.

I like to eat it as soon as possible so that there is still a little crunch to the fried onions but it is also good left over. Sometimes I do need to add a little more mayo later since the onions soak up a lot of the moisture but make sure to seal it tight with a lid or cling wrap before putting it in the fridge to keep. 

How to Get Stuff Done Even When You Don’t Feel Like It as a SAHM!

OK, I know everybody has been there. They are home and the house looks like a tornado went through it and that tornado is your kid. I have 4 boys so I know exactly what you are talking about. The baby has been crying all night and you are so tired that you feel like you are going to fall over. The kitchen is a mess. There are piles of stuff all over the house that you have meant to get to “later”, there are food crumbs all over the house and just looking around makes you feel even more tired. Believe me I have been there. Just thinking about unloading and reloading the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry and actually putting it away is like asking me to pull the hairs out of my arm one by one or worse. I just wanted to leave the house or just see if it would “accidentally” catch on fire and we could just get a new home.
People ask me how I have time to do it all with 4 kids. The answer is that I don’t. But my home is picked up, the dishes get done (most days), meals get made, kids get dropped off and picked up. Here is how you can do it too.

1. Face what is keeping you from doing what you need to do. 

I know that there are days where things are just not getting done because the baby is nursing every 30 min but at some time they are going to sleep and as much as you think sitting down and watching a show will help you rest it will actually do the opposite. Unless you are laying down and closing your eyes you are not resting. The TV will not help you unwind. It will help you escape for a few min but your unconscious will keep making you feel even worse knowing that the mess in the other room is still waiting for you. So if doing the task just feels like it will take FOREVER set a timer for 15 min and see how much you can do. If you are anything like me the dishes almost never take longer than 10 min. Each time you have a task to do set the timer for 10 or 15 min and get cracking. See how long it actually takes to do these house tasks. When I did this it really helped me mentally to just do it because it only takes X amount off minutes.

2. Turn your internet/TV off!

It is time to treat yourself like your children and turn the internet off until you are done with your chores. If you are anything like me then someone messaging me on Facebook or liking my activity on Instagram will drag me into the internet black hole where time gets sucked away. I know being a stay at home mom is lonely and talking to friends is so tempting but you will be able to focus on them so much better once you have finished all the things you need to get finished and then you might even not be ashamed to invite them over for coffee. Same thing with the TV, especially Netflix, I tend to start watching a series and suddenly 4 hours are gone and nothing got done. Oooops! Now if the TV is on it is to keep the 3 year old occupied for a few min so that I can get something done and it is by far nothing I want to sit down and watch.

3. Figure out when you are at your peak performance.

Are you a morning, afternoon or evening person? When do you feel the least draggy. Mornings are my time because afternoons are spent doing kid pick up, homework, snack, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays swim lessons, then dinner and bedtime. After the kids go to bed I need me time. I need to clock out of work and veg out in front of the TV with knitting or just a cup of tea and a favorite snack. So in the mornings I pack in as much work as I can possible do. The dishwasher gets emptied and filled with dishes from breakfast, a load of laundry gets washed, animals get fed, the bathroom gets wiped down, one clutter pile gets tackled and I vacuum and get stuff done. This is just on the mornings that I am home which is Tuesdays and Thursdays and on the weekends. MWF  are the days where things just get done when they get done because I have too many other things going on like grocery shopping, Dr.s appointments, orthodontist appointments and getting together with friends. But usually I manage the basic Unload the dishwasher and start a load of laundry while the coffee is brewing in the morning. Mind you I might be restarting a load that I washed the day before because life go in the way.

4. Get Organized

If you think hourly planners are just for people that work you are dead wrong. I use mine to keep on top appointments, my menu planning, my to do list, and put in all the time spent picking kids up and other things done so that I see that even if I feel like I didn’t get much done that day I can look at my planner and see that I was quite busy. Menu planning is important both to save money and to know when to start dinner and to have everything you need on hand. To do lists help you stay on top of your goals for your self, your family and your home. My organizer is always with me everywhere I go. I have my Google calendar too but my pen and paper organizer are how I survive and never feel like I am forgetting something. If you start using pen and paper make sure you use an erasable pen or pencil. I like the Frixion erasable pens because of their gel ink, the many different colors and when you erase it looks like nothing was there before. I also get the erasable markers to highlight the different things in different colors. If it is just me it is pink, if it is a weekly appointment or pick up it is yellow, if it is a family thing is it is blue, if it is just my husband it is green. But I will write a separate blog post about how I use my organizer (The Inner Guide Planner). But spend one day a week planning the coming week. Thinking about what you want your week to look like. Thinking about what you want your week to feel like. When and how you will make time for you. This will help you feel more centered and ready to do what needs to be done for the family.

5. Let it go!

From this day forward each time you pick something up to put it away ask yourself if it brings you joy or if you really need it. If not LET IT GO. If you thinks someone else can use it then give it away, if it is worn and ugly then toss it. As  you start letting go of all the things cluttering up your home you will start feeling lighter and there are fewer things to pick up. There are many books out there about simplifying your life here is a link to just a few. If your kids have access to more toys than they can pick up in less than 6 min then they have access to too many toys. Get rid of the ones that don’t mean anything to them and Make a toy library for the toys that they enjoy playing with. Keep them in plastic bins that you can see through so that it is easy to identify what is in each bin. If they want to play with another bin they need to return the bin that they have first like returning a library book before getting another one. This will make clean up much easier and less stressful on both you and your child.

6. Make a master list.

Now that you know how long it really takes to do your tasks make a master list of what needs to be done every day and then another that needs to be done weekly and spread it through the week and then another that needs to be done monthly and then the ones that need to be done every 3 months or every year. Use your organizer to schedule these things like oil changes and washing the curtains. Having a list to refer to with the most important tasks first helps me stay on track and remind me of what I was working on. I am horrible about getting distracted by a dirty diaper of hungry child and the forgetting what I was actually doing so the list keeps me on track. I also forget when oil changes are due and when the taxes need to be paid on my vehicle so when I mark that in my calendar every year I don’t forget anymore. I spend 15 min in the morning with my cup of coffee and my daily journal to write down my thoughts for the day, my gratitude and my progress on my ongoing projects and figure out how I will work my day around the things that need to be done. Giving myself a vision with out over planning.

7. Turn the Music On
Music helps me get stuff done and keep on task. If I need to write a blog post then classical music will do it for me because there are no words to it but if I need to clean the house then dance music is what helps me stay upbeat and moving.

8. Accept help!

This has always been the hardest for me. My mom was the only person that I was comfortable with really helping me. But now my mom is gone. I still need help. I need my village. So this year I decided that I was going to accept all the help that came my way. I am worth it. My children deserve it. It is amazing what comes your way when you open the doors for it. My in-laws have been very helpful but they also live 3 hours away. My friends have really stepped up. One comes and cleans my bathroom, windows and floors for only $40 every 2 weeks. I wouldn’t be comfortable not paying anything for something like that. I have 4 gross boys and only one bathroom. We also made the decision to put our 3 year old in preschool. It is a $210 investment every month for 3 days a week from 9am-2pm but it helps me go grocery shopping and taking the others to their appointments with out having a very active 3 year old that has no self control and a 2 month old with me at the same time. We are lucky that my husband’s work has a childcare fund that you can put your money in pre tax to pay for childcare. Plus the 3 year old loves going and playing with is friends for that time. He gets to do crafts and go outside while I am running around getting things done. My friends have also come to watch my children for me when I have had to go to the Dr. But if you don’t have family close by to help then build your village.

9. Get your friends involved

I’m sure you, like me, have a friend, or two, that has a hard time getting stuff done. When I am especially not in the mood I have a friend that I text my list to and she texts me her list and we take before and after pics of what we are doing and then celebrate each other’s success when we finish something even if it is just a small thing like calling to make an appointment at the dentist. But don’t start chatting. Chatting is not OK until the list is finished.

Nobody is perfect. Especially not me. Right now I have spent a decent amount of time writing this post on a Saturday with everybody home and snack time has come and gone. The dining room table that I am sitting at is covered in leftovers from snack time and since I have not been paying the living room or my feral children any attention, since my husband is home to watch them, toys are everywhere and the clean clothes are sitting in the washing machine from this morning waiting to be put in the dryer, floors have not been swept or vacuumed and just because I have not been on top of things for a couple of hours the house looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in days. No worries. It will only take me about 30 min to get on top of it again. I will have my cup of coffee. Make my list. See in my minds eye what I want my home to look like before dinner needs to be made and make it happen. So can you.

What are your favorite tools to get stuff done? How do you make your chores easier to tackle?

If you really have a hard time doing the things that need to be done and no amount of pep talk or planning can get you motivated enough to get off the couch and this has been going on for more than 2 weeks it is time to go to your Dr. and discuss what is going on. But be warned, do not automatically believe that you are just depressed. Have the Dr run a complete thyroid panel (not just the basic one), check your vitamin D, iron and B12 levels, and check if you have sinus issues that can cause the feeling of being tired and unmotivated. When your body is not in a good state it is hard for your mind to work properly. Believe me I know. I had sinus issues that I did not know about and I felt so tired all the time. Come to find out one of my sinuses is completely blocked and would get infected on a regular basis with out sinus pain. Just a low grade fever for about  3 weeks that the Dr.s could not explain on a regular basis. Now after the CT my Dr ordered they saw how extensive my sinus troubles were and I am about to have surgery. So figure out what is wrong physically before you start taking antidepressants but see your Dr. Figure out what is wrong. You deserve to feel better. You deserve to be happy and healthy and should fight for it just as hard as you would for your children.