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So I woke up this morning just completely saddened by some overnight news. A gunman walked into a movie theater last night and pulled out a AKA style gun during the opening of Dark Knight and began shooting. He killed over 10 innocent people just sitting there trying to have a fun family night out at a movie. I am just stunned and sick over this. What has our society come to? What on earth is someone trying to prove by shooting innocent people in a movie theater? Now we can’t feel safe going to a Friday night movie??

I just felt the need to vent a bit here. All of our world’s stopped after 9-11 and then again after the Columbine tragedy and now this. I don’t want to be a crazy protective parent, but society is proving that I have to be. I don’t know how to trust sending my kids out into the world when events like this go on. I am just praying right now for all the families involved and I am going to hug my kiddos a little tighter this morning too. I would love your thoughts on this event and what you do to still trust and allow your kids to live their lives without constant fear.

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Summer is officially here which means a bit of chaos in my house and life. It seems like there are a million things going on between work, managing the kids social lives and sports, trying to find an ounce of “me” time and managing the home. It can feel overwhelming and stressful if you don’t take back some control of your time. I have learned over the years that there are simple tips and strategies to finding more time in my day and using my time more wisely. I think for a lot of women, the stressful time zappers are managing the mornings, cleaning the house, doing laundry, reading email and scheduling everyone’s lives. It doesn’t surprise me that I have been dyeing my hair for over ten years, the gray just seems to pop up more and more often:) Life just seems to go at turbo speed when you have kids, but my wish for everyone reading this is to enjoy the ride and capture the crazy moments when they happen instead of feeling like everything is just rushing past you. I want to offer some strategies to enjoy more time everyday and push the time zappers away.

Manage your mornings better

How crazy are your mornings? Mine just got crazier now that swim team practices started. I definitely feel like there are days that start off running and don’t stop. I’ve learned to do as much as I can the evening before, because mornings are always crazier than evenings. Now that my kids are a bit older, they can set their own alarm clock and get reading for swim practice or school. Lay out clothes the night before. Pack lunches and set the coffee maker the night before. Look at your calendar and prepare what you need for the next day. I lay out the towels and goggles for the kids the night before. Just prepping a little the night before will save you quite a bit of time in the morning.

Cleaning the house

Something my family has done for years is designate Sunday morning as cleaning day. Instead of stressing about it all week, cleaning a little here and there, and then feeling like you are constantly cleaning and organizing, is to designate a set time every week to do the major cleaning. Then you can just pick up here and there throughout the week. Everyone can pitch in and participate in their specific chores and it will get done fairly quickly. My kids strip their beds right away, do their cleaning, help make their beds with the clean sheets and they are done for the week. Another tip is to keep wipes and Windex in every bathroom and every evening do a quick wipe down of the counters.

Social media and email time drains

Do you have any idea how much time you waste surfing social media sites and checking and re-checking your email everyday? If you literally detailed every minute of the day you would be surprised how much time you waste. I know this personally, especially when my cell phone was out of commission and I had no choice when it came to checking my mail and sending Facebook or twitter messages. I felt like I had just earned a lot of free time for those couple of days. Be very conscious of how much time you spend on the computer. Set limits and make a commitment to check your email certain times during the day and that is it. Just being aware of how you spend your time will wake you up to how much more time you really can find.

How do you manage your time in the summer?

I don’t know about you, but no matter what the temperature, I am always a bit on the chilly side. Especially in the spring and summer when you enjoy dinner on the patio, and the sun goes down, I am always looking for a light cover up.  I was excited to come up Fresh Produce and take a peek at some of their cardigans and long sleeve t shirts. My husband always makes fun of me for being cold, and he gives me grief when I grab his sweatshirts and comfy jackets.   So now I have this super comfy cardigan that I can put on when we entertain into the evening hours.

Something I am very big on is comfort and ease. I love how comfortable and casual the Fresh Produce clothing line is. My husband and I and the kids love to entertain, especially in the summer, so I am excited to grab a couple of essentials on their website.  What are your favorite summer essentials? Living here in Colorado, it can snow in June or be one hundred degrees and hot. So you always have to be prepared:) I used to always put my winter clothes away for the summer, but then I would have to go find them and get out a couple of sweaters, some jeans and long sleeve shirts. Now it just all stays in my master closet through the year.

Hop over to Fresh Produce and pick yourself something up for the upcoming season. Have a fabulous summer everyone!

More and more people are choosing to work from home and this comes with advantages and disadvantages. I for one love working partly at home, but it can be difficult with kids running around and distractions that pop up on a daily basis. It is important to create an environment that works while setting boundaries with yourself and your family. It takes a lot of will power and self motivation to work from home, but more and more people are finding ways to make it work. Whether or not you work full-time from home, there are always ways to be more productive and efficient while working from a home office. I have many clients who work full time out of the home but then come home and do some personal work from an office work station. They still want to get things done with little distractions so they can enjoy family life. Here are some tips to help you work from home with ease and structure.

Schedule your day
This is a very important tip for those working at home! It is easy to get distracted and unfocused while at home. Make sure you schedule your day and stick to this schedule. Create “work” hours and pencil in times for breaks. It is very easy to get off course when you have little structure.

Minimize time zappers
People working alone in offices spend a lot of wasted time on the phone and internet. Monitor how much time every day you are actually working and how much time you are doing other things (such as checking Facebook or browsing the internet.) Try not to check personal emails during the day and shut down your computer for a set amount of time everyday so you can focus on the tasks at hand.

Don’t isolate yourself
I know it can feel isolating sometimes when you are by yourself working at home. I do believe interractions are helpful and stimulating. Everyday try to connect with at least one person, whether in person or on the phone. This is a great opportunity to brainstorm ideas, network or simply vent. It will also give you a boost of energy to keep working.

The next time you need a natural mood booster, look to the environment. There have been countless studies that show that nature boosts your mood and self-esteem. People saw the greatest self-esteem and mood changes after only five minutes of light-intensity outdoor activity. Over the years there has been a large disconnection from nature. We are more industrialized and we don’t spend nearly as much time outside. I know firsthand how much better I feel when I take a midday walk. Just getting away from the office, getting some fresh air, getting some sunlight and allowing my mind to take a break does wonders. If you can carve out as little as five minutes a day to reconnect with nature, I can almost guarantee a shift in your mood. Now that Spring is upon us, this is the best time to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Here are some simple strategies to get you started.

1. Walk instead of coffee

When the afternoon lull hits, instead of grabbing a coffee to boost your energy and mood, grab your walking shoes. Keep your tennis shoes with you at work and commit to walking outside around the building for 5-10 minutes. It will boost your energy, improve your mood and clear your mind.

2. Grab your laptop

The perfect way to get your work done AND enjoy the environment is to do a little work outside. Grab your laptop and go sit somewhere quiet and appealing. Maybe go to the park. Sit outside on a bench. Sit outside at your house if you do work there instead of an office.

3. Automate it

I know that my days tend to slip away very quickly. I have started using a task reminder on my smartphone to remind me of activities I would like to mark off daily. It beeps once a day to remind me to do a five minute meditation and it reminds me once a day to get outside. The reminders are so helpful!

How many of you would DO ANYTHING to get away for 24 hours to pamper yourself, relinquish all responsibilities and sleep soundly? I think most Mom’s would say yes at the top of their lungs. This is exactly what I did yesterday and last night! I went down to The Ritz Carlton here in Denver, got a Hot stone massage, ordered room service from the amazing Elway’s restaurant, took a hot bath, and felt absolutely no guilt about doing it. As a Mom who juggles a lot between work, family, kids activities, managing the home and more, I was completely depleted. I knew that it was time to renew my spirit, fill up my tank and clear my head. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who sees firsthand the benefit of nurturing myself, so he sent me on my way without any hesitancy. OK…maybe a little hesitancy, but he obliged:)

I think ALL mom’s deserve some r&r every now and then. Unfortunately most women feel so guilty about taking time for themselves, or doing something nurturing just for them, that they brush it aside. Over time, they feel lethargic, unhappy, stressed, annoyed at the world and more. Trust me, I’ve been there many times~ But I have also gotten pretty good over the years of recognizing when my tank is completely empty and doing something about it.

I literally felt the stress peel away the second I walked into my room at The Ritz. There was calming music playing on the television and it just melted the tension. I then walked to the Spa and enjoyed some hot tea while waiting for my therapist. Here is a glimpse of the waiting area.

I would love nothing more than to inspire all mom’s to take a mom vacation every now and then! Whether it is for a couple of hours, an evening, or even a couple of days, you deserve it. Between doing everything for everyone else and constantly putting yourself at the bottom of the totem pole, it takes it toll over time. How guilty would you feel if you got away by yourself? Do you have a support system that would help you? Maybe start with small acts of kindness toward yourself and work your way up.

I already told my husband I will be doing this again, maybe not next week or next month, but I will definitely pencil something in down the road. I am just one of those people who thrive on alone time, so I always look forward to escaping every now and then. I would love to hear your comments if you have taken mom escapes before and if you have a hard time letting the guilt go. Just remember that you have the most challenging job of all and it is OK to treat yourself with kindness just like you would your kids. I guarantee you will be a better mom, wife and friend because of it.

If there is a Ritz Carlton in your town, I would HIGHLY recommend splurging on yourself. Start saving a little here and there and before you know it you can head down there and enjoy a little pampering.

Good luck everyone! Back home to reality~

Disclaimer: The Ritz provided accommodations for my trip, however all opinions are my own.

Intuition or fear?

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I have always been very intuitive. Ever since I was a little girl I sensed certain things, knew certain things and had a peace around why I should do certain things in my life. As I grew older I realized that “feeling” I always had was my intuition or guiding compass. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to trust this part of myself, knowing it would never steer me in the wrong direction. I assumed everyone had the same feelings. Not until I started working with people as a Coach, did I realize people’s genuine desire to tap into their own intuition. They had a hard time differentiating between intuition and fear. Many times we get gut feelings and we aren’t sure what the source is. Is it truly our intuition or is it fear based. Even though I am very tapped in to my intuition, there are times I second guess something. There are several things you can do to harness your intuition and decipher between what is real and what is not. I guarantee that taking some time to increase your ability to tap into your intuition will benefit your life in so many ways. You will be more at peace. You will make smarter choices. You will stress less. You will realize you aren’t alone. Here are some things to work on this week:

Try on your decision

    When I mean “try on” your decision, I mean think of a decision you need to make in your life, close your eyes, and see how you feel physically. Let’s say you are debating taking a new job. Envision yourself in the new position. How do you feel? Do you feel excited and energized? Or do you feel stressed and overwhelmed? Just the act of starting to align your gut feelings to your physical self will help harness the power.

 Keep a journal   

    The best way to start fine tuning your intuition is to keep an intuition journal. Every time you get a gut feeling about something, jot it down. Later jot down if it came true or if it was accurate. This is a great tool to start looking for patterns or be more aware of your gut feelings when you have them. Practice really does make perfect.

 Place of love   

    Remember that your intuition always comes from a place of love.  If the voice in your head is kind and loving, it is probably your intuition. If it is critical or judgmental it is probably just your ego or fear based talk. Try to tap in to this voice and feeling this week.

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