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How (and why) to Say No

No is a complete sentence. How and why to say it

Since it’s January, it’s time to determine priorities and decide what is going to be important to us this upcoming year. It may be to slow down and try to be present during your family time. Maybe it’s to take some time out for yourself. 

I get it. I’m a people pleaser so I can 100% understand the desire to try to be everything to everyone. However, as I have learned, you can do anything, but not everything. 

You have to learn how to say no to those things you don’t have time to do (or that you just don’t want to do!). Here are some ways I’ve learned help lessen that “No” blow:

  • I’ll have to check my schedule.
  • I want to help, but I’m pretty full this month. Can you reach out again soon?
  • I promised my husband that I would not tackle any more projects right now. 
  • No, but I can ______________ (give an option that you are willing to do).
  • No, but ______________ may be interested in helping.
  • No.

That last one may be startling to say the first few times, but you are allowed to just say no (or “no, but thank you for thinking of me” if you’re very polite!). “No” is a complete sentence. You do not have to explain yourself. 

It’s so important to guard your time. How often have you felt stuck doing stuff you don’t want to do only because you thought it would seem bad if you said no? Don’t let that feeling rule your calendar and your life. Don’t say yes to things you don’t want to do. 

Making yourself and your family a priority is the most important thing you can do. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Hopefully, 2019 will be the year that your cup overflows!

New Year, New Priorities

With the dawn of a new year, it’s time to look back at the last one. Maybe you want to make some changes and make resolutions to clean out your closetslow down or get your paperwork in order.

Resolutions start with determining your priorities and choosing what is going to be important to you this year. If it’s important to you, you choose to make time for it.

Take a look at your calendar for the next month and decide what is worth your time. Make a list and write down everything on your calendar for the next 30 days. Next to each entry, number the importance of doing it with 5 being ABSOLUTE MUST (non-refundable airline tickets) and 1 being a “I sort of said I may be interested” (PTA cookie exchange). 

Next, put a plus sign next to the things you are really looking forward to (girls only brunch) and a minus next to the blah stuff (oil change).

Obviously, the 5+ are the things that are important to you that you love, but check if there are any 1- or 2- on your list. Maybe you can outsource some of those tasks. There are people (and apps!) that can help with cleaning, cooking, preparing taxes, laundry, organizing, grocery shopping. Many of them are much more affordable than you think. 

Also, give some thought to your household chores. Is there anything you hate doing? Maybe your spouse doesn’t hate it and you can trade it for a different job. Hate folding clothes, but don’t mind doing dishes? Suggest a trade, even if just for a week or a month. You may be surprised at how much the annoying little tasks you dislike can add up in a short time.

The new year is a great time to really think about what is important to you and how to determine what you are going to say yes to!

When Perfectionism isn’t Perfect

When perfectionism isn't perfect

I’m a recovering perfectionist. When I lived alone and didn’t have a kid, I knew I was a perfectionist. But now, I want to spend any precious free time with my family, not worrying about the little things. 

I have two pictures in my home (hung by me) that are crooked and I’ve left them that way. I like the reminder that I’m not perfect and that I need to let some things go. All I can do is shrug and smile when I see them. When my husband folds the towels and they don’t have crisp edges, it’s a reminder that I have a partner who helps out around the house. So I let it go and smile when I see the not-quite-perfect towel stack. 

When I look back at my first few blog posts, there are some things I would do differently, but I don’t mind it too much. It’s good to continually grow and change. I’ve talked about not being perfect on my Instagram a couple of times. I post about it often because it’s a reminder I need often. 

Perfectionism can stop you from moving forward. I had minimal website experience when I started this whole process earlier this year, but I purchased the domain and started working on it. I didn’t let my perfectionism stop me from jumping in and starting because a step in any direction is a good step. 

It may stop you from getting organized. Maybe you won’t redo your front entryway until you find the perfect piece of furniture. It’s okay to not have a perfect system immediately. Our guest room has gone through a bunch of changes. Much like ourselves, our spaces and homes need to evolve with us. No system is going to be perfect forever. As our kids grow up, our lives will change. 

Don’t let perfectionism stop you from organizing, changing, or evolving. Let some stuff go occasionally. You’ll get use to it.  I promise. 

23 Best Tips on How to Stop Procrastinating

23 best tips on how to stop procrastinating

I was honored to be part of this amazing group who all listed their best tips for stopping procrastination. If it’s something that you struggle with, there are TONS of suggestions from a variety of people. Much like organization is not one-size-fits-all, neither is problem solving! If my tips don’t strike a chord, you are guaranteed to find some that hit home with you.

Keeping it Simple for the Holidays

"Keeping it simple for the holidays" with glittery gold sequins

Think about your childhood holiday memories. Was the best part running around to 20 stores to get presents for every friend and family member? Was it when you were going to 3 holiday parties in one weekend? Was it when you were just lounging around with your loved ones? Was it when you were putting up decorations together?

For me, I’ve been working on slowing down.  I’m trying to make the holiday season all about simplicity and working on the “less is more” concept. Less gifts, less food options, less decorating. 

I think we can all agree that the holiday season is out of control. When the Christmas decorations are out before Halloween, I think it’s time to rein it in a bit! It’s become a months long marathon.

For a while, my gift list was longer than a CVS receipt. I finally went to close friends and family to make a pact to forgo presents for one another. While my husband still loves to buy gifts for his family, I have only my mom and mother in law to shop for – and they get very similar photo books of our family. 

This makes my new year much more organized. Less items to find a home for, less things I don’t need or want, less stuff to put away and pack up. 

Last year was the first year we hosted Christmas at our (small) house. On the 24th for dinner, I put some meat in a crock pot and some grits in another. For the 25th brunch, pre-made pancakes from the freezer, along with a pre-mixed quiche and overnight french toast dish all just required heating. I let everyone else fill in the blanks for the rest of the food. 

With our small house, hosting duties, and toddler running around, we don’t have much space for a full Christmas tree. For the last few years, I’ve put up a long strand of garland over our fireplace and hung my favorite ornaments on there. Simple, festive, and out of the way.

Everyone wants the magic of the holidays, not a ton of things. Spend the next couple of weeks trying to find your own balance, keeping things simple. 

The Most Important Things for Holiday Road Trips

The most important things for your holiday road trip

Last week, we talked about how to organize and streamline packing for any holiday travel. Now is a great time to take a look at your car organization because you’ll likely be spending some of that travel time in the car. Double check that your emergency kit is stocked up before your next big trip. Don’t have one? You can buy pre-made ones at Walmart or similar stores. I like to keep a small medical kit close at hand,with some bandages and aspirin.

For longer car rides, you may want to stock up on some car snacks and make sure you toss in a couple trash bags. Personally, I always keep some bleach wipes on the door of my car, just in case of a mess.

If you’re traveling with kids, they can turn a 2-hour car ride seem like 4 hours! To keep them entertained and yourself organized, enter car kits. First is an activity kit. Find some travel-sized toys. Think small Magna Doodles from the dollar store. Small set of crayons and paper in a small box. Special books they haven’t read yet. If you’re short on time, they sell these too.

Second is the kid emergency kit: diapers, wipes, extra set of clothes. You may have some of that packed away in your suitcase for the trip,but you’ll want a small bag of essentials within reach because Murphy’s Law always applies in the car!

Safe travels!

Why All Moms Need a Master Packing List

Why all moms need a master packing list

As the holiday season approaches, you’ll likely be spending some time traveling, visiting friends and family. Remembering what to pack for you and your family, along with any presents and toys, can be overwhelming. On one of our first trips with our kid, we got about a mile from the house when my husband asked if I had put in the Pack and Play bed. Whoops! A quick 5-minute detour was much easier than trying to figure out the sleeping situation at bedtime that night. But keeping a master list of vacation items would have been even better.

Since then, I keep a master list of everything we could need on a vacation:

  • Diapers/Wipes/Desitin
  • Deodorant
  • Pajamas and clothes
  • Sippy cup
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Swimsuits

If we are going somewhere without a pool, I cross off the swimsuits. Kid staying at grandparents, I cross off the adult stuff.

In the week leading up to the trip, keep the list out so you can add any additional items you may need, such as Uncle Joe’s Christmas present or the book Aunt Judy lent you last year. 

Having a master list prepared in advance will save you time scrambling at the last minute. And ensure that you never forget that Pack and Play!