Work-life balance is the buzz phrase when it comes to organizing tips. With my design and blogging work, I guess I still technically have “work” to balance, with life, but as we all know, even a mom who has no other job title, has PLENTY of work to do.
Sadly though, the reality is that work-life balance is impossible. What you should be seeking, and what you’re really craving, is how to organize your life. If you can organize and get things done, you will finally feel like you have everything under control!
Mindfulness is another word that you might be hearing a lot about lately. It’s origins come from Buddhism, and it involves focusing all your attention on the task at hand. If you’re making eggs, just make eggs. If you’re playing with your kiddos, just play with your kiddos. This focusing of the mind makes you more effective at any given task, but also it makes life more pleasant. In other words, you will be happier.
For as long as I can remember (which I’ll admit isn’t as long as it used to be) my life has a been an organization disaster. I’m not going to sugar coat it guys — I am a mess! Procrastination is my only form of time management, which is a recipe for so much stress it could literally kill me.
The way our bodies are designed, when we feel stressed, the “fight or flight” response kicks in. Our brain is programmed to react by sending blood to the arms and legs — the parts of the body that are needed to help you run away, and less blood is going to the “irrelevant” body parts, such as the lobes of your brain responsible for rational and long-term thought. Yet I bet you find those body parts far more relevant to your daily life — too bad they’re starving from stress!
The fact is the stress response is only meant to work in the short term, but in the modern world we don’t often have life threatening situations that require us to fight or flight. Instead stress comes in a toxic trickle and our stress response never seems to turn off. Prolonged stress is responsible for increased cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, suppressed immune system, and can even cause heart disease and strokes. YIKES!
I was recently introduced to David Allen’s organization book called Getting Things Done. The GTD philosophy centers on the idea that your mind is for having ideas NOT holding them. He advocates having a process in place to reliably capture ideas as they come to your mind, so your brain can let them go and move onto something else.
The scatter-brained feeling that we fight, is the rational thought processes being interrupted by ideas and reminders that you don’t want to forget. If we can get those things out of our mind and into some other retrieval storage, we can enjoy a mind that is free from clutter. Doesn’t that sound nice?!
Allen’s idea has been honed to help working professionals organize and get things done, but I’ve modified it for a mom’s life. With the beginning of the new school year, I’m resolving to organize and declutter my life! Who’s with me?
I’m using the Avery Ultralast Binder, which is pretty much the coolest binder ever. The rings have one-tab opening; the pockets are this durable plastic (not the clear kind that will stick to the toner on your pages); and the cover has a frame where you can insert the cover page for a totally polished look! Seriously this baby is the Cadillac of binders! It comes in a few colors, but I am using blue because matches my kitchen… I know, I’m a nerd.
STEP 1: Capture
We’re going to capture all those random thoughts. To begin, sit down with an empty sheet of paper and begin listing out any to-do, reminder or idea that comes to mind. Doesn’t matter what it is, just get it down. In our digital age, we often forget about the power of paper. I love my smart phone dearly, and would never voluntarily live without it, but for this exercise use paper. When you write something down, it frees up space in your brain so it doesn’t have to remind you again.
I just saw Disney’s new Pete’s Dragon movie, and my favorite part of the film had to be the gorgeous scenery. We just returned from a 3-week family road trip up the Pacific Coast, and the lush forrest in Pete’s Dragon made me feel like we were back there.
The new Pete’s Dragon is a fun re-imagining of the classic dragon tail. It’s quite a different storyline than the semi-animated Pete’s Dragon you probably remember from your childhood, but it’s far more epic. I love the inclusion of a friendly park ranger, and Robert Redford’s character was so engaging, but then I’ve had a crush on him since I was a teenager.
There are some intense parts, and the opening scene actually had me in tears. I think it’s on par with Maleficent, and I recommend reading the review over on Parent Previews if you want a more detailed play by play of the movie.
Bubble gum contests were sort of a tradition in my family. We would do them on camping trips or at other family gatherings. So since I consider myself a bubble gum contest expert, here’s a little tutorial on how to host a bubble gum contest of your own.
HOW TO HOST A BUBBLE GUM CONTEST
Bubble gum contests are really great family activities since they require very little prep work and both adults and kids will truly have fun with it. Here’s what you need…
Have you read Roald Dahl’s The BFG book or seen the new movie from Disney? My 11-year-old daughter and I saw the BFG movie (short for Big Friendly Giant) a few weeks ago, and it was so fun to get wrapped up in Dahl’s vivid, fantasy Giant World. To be honest, my daughter enjoyed the movie far more than I did, but I didn’t mind — it was certainly a memorable and fun mommy-daughter date.
“Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?”
One of our favorite parts of the story and the movie is the funny Gobblefunk language that Roald Dahl created for Giant. It’s close enough to English that you’ll understand what he means, but it’s just different enough to be hilarious. These fun, made up words are a hallmark of Roald Dahl books. When reading the book these words are so fun to say, and hearing Mark Rylance bring the words to life in the movie was delightful.
There are several funny parts involving “whizzpoppers,” which is the BFG’s word for passing gas through the southern hemisphere. Humorously in Giant land a whizzpopper is not only acceptable, but it is even “a sign of happiness.” The giant says, “it is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?”
After the movie my daguther helped me brainstorm some fun BFG activities. We thought it would be great to create our own whizzpopping fun at home. We made homemade slime and put it in a jar. When you quickly insert your fingers into the slime you can create fantastic whizzpopping noises. Find below our slime recipe and link to download the free printable “Whizzpopper” tag.