5 Time Management Tips for The Overactive Brain

Hi, All! I just wanted to share my latest video on time management. I hope that this is beneficial to some of you!

1. Use A Planner; heck I actually use THREE! I know that that may sound like a bit much for some people but I work best when I “group and contain, “ like items. For example, I have one planner that is specifically for my full time job. It is a weekly glance and I schedule patients on the hour. Due to HIPPA regulations, I only use this planner for work. I wouldn’t dare be caught out in public flipping through this planner amongst friends.

The second planner that I use is a Day-Timer Flavia. This is where I store all of my personal appointment for child and myself. I also create my to-do lists here, our social calendars, bill tracking, budgets, cleaning schedule, vet appointments and our dog’s grooming schedule. Basically, this is the planner that goes everywhere with me.

Finally, I use the Erin Condren Life planner for everything related to “The Sweatpants Diva.” This is where my creative juices reside. Ideas for blog posts, YouTube videos, and all things related to my Life Coaching business, are found here. This planner rarely every leaves my house. (If you are interested in purchasing this planner, I’ve attached a $10 off coupon above).

2. Pause, before Committing! Don’t commit to appointments, volunteering, etc. until you check your calendar. I look at my calendar daily so I typically know what I have in store for the week. Other than that, I’ve learned to say, “I’ll need to check my schedule first and then I’ll get back with you.” This also gives me the opportunity to say “no,” if I need to. A good part of time management is not filling it with things just because you’re free. It’s important that you also consider yourself and/or your family as well. In my case, if my daughter has an event that ends late, then the chances of me agreeing to something at the top of the next morning that requires me drag her out of bed at the crack of dawn…probably won’t happen.

3. Prioritize. If there is one thing that 2014 has taught me is to prioritize my time. I have always been one that runs a TTD list 100 items deep and you had better believe that I was going to have the pleasure of crossing them off! Well, I have now learned that it is nearly impossible to be everything to everyone. I’ve also learned that life happens in cycles, and it’s important for each individual to prioritize what’s most important to him or her at that time. For example, currently, my focus is on my goals for 2015. That blog post and video may be found below. So, other things may be pushed to the side for now. I may skip out on folding laundry daily in place of getting in my workout or making a grocery run for whole foods. In order to make the most of your time, it’s better spent on the things that matter most and the things that will make the greatest impact to your happiness. If that’s cleaning, then schedule that and make time for it.

4. Use a timer. Most creative people have a very difficult time remaining focused on one task for a long period of time. This is where a timer comes in handy. I actually learned this technique from the FlyLady in 2004 and I’ve been using it since. When cleaning my house, I set the timer in increments of 15-20 mins and I focus on one room or one task. Once the timer goes off, I move on to the next. Before I would continue to re set the timer and stay in the same room until it was perfected but now I’m learning that a little of something is better than nothing at all. 15 mins of returned emails is better than 0. 15mins in the kitchen is better than 0. A 15 min workout is better than no workout at all.

5. Forgive yourself- There will be times when no matter how organized or well thought out your day seemed to be, things may not go well. Things may go undone. Things may be left incomplete. Forgive yourself. No one is perfect. We’re all just striving to be the best versions of ourselves as possible. Revisit, see if there’s something that you could have done differently, learn from it and MOVE ON!

I hope that these tips are in some ways beneficial. Great time management will not only save you time, but will also save you money and lots of headaches. I would love to hear from you in the comments section. What are some of your best time management skills?

2015 Goals

Hi, All!

I hope that you have enjoyed your holidays and are all geared up and ready for all that this new year has to bring! One thing that I do love about the flip of the calendar is that it generates a new sense of freshness. It’s like a clean slate to fix all of the things that you screwed up the previous year and to continue to progress with the things you’re doing right. For me, it’s also time that generates creativity and defines goals. Here’s a video where I share the information that’s also listed below.

At the end of 2015, I would like to have accomplished the following things in the following areas:

Home

• Continue to create an environment that I feel good about. In 2014 I purchased a new nightstand and a new mattress for my bedroom and those additions alone have brought great joy to my sleeping area.

• Be mindful of the things and people that I invite into my home as well as the type of energy that it brings. It is my goal that when people enter my home, that they immediately feel safe and loved. With this in mind, I am learning that it is important to be a bit more cautious of what and who makes it past the door. There once was a time when I never paid attention to this, because I was so “nice,” but being a mom first and foremost teaches me that not every movie, every piece of clothing, every lyric, every food, every friend of a friend, should be invited into our safe haven.

• Continue My Personal Growth with God

• Continue to watch and guide my daughter in her growth, but to incorporate more scripture into our day-to-day life.

Health

• Create more time for myself to do whatever the heck (Southern girl) my little heart desires. Whether that is to workout, sleep, having a pedicure, write, take hike, cook a meal, I just want to do it with no regrets!

• Sleep- 6-hour minimum, most nights of the week. This is a major improvement in comparison to the 2-3 hours that I’ve been doing in the past.

• Follow a plant-based diet. This has been a HUGE change for me and I’m loving it! I’ll update what I’m eating in a later video and blog.

Social Life

• This is a BIG year! Many of my friends are turning 35 this year and WOW, the celebration requests are rolling in! Many of them are going BIG with every right to, because the gift of life is a celebration within itself.

• Family- My family knows that I love them, but I need to stay in better contact. Point. Blank. Period.

• My plans for this year is to actually send more mail through the postal system, call, and visit more.
Letting go of the “All or None,” mentality

I am learning that a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. Perfectionism has made and gotten the best of me over the years and I’m gradually letting go. I will talk more about this in a future blog/video.

Well, that is all for now, but I would LOVE to hear from you in the comments section! What are your goals for this year? Are there any areas in particular that you would like to give more attention or time to? Feel free to share!

7 things I LOVE about Fall!

Fall is definitely in the air! I really love this time of the year! I can’t say that it is my favorite time of the year, as I love and appreciate everything that each season brings, but I would like to highlight a few things in which I LOVE about fall!

1. Snuggle Time– Here at my place, we are all big snugglers; even our dog. Fall is such a lovely time to light candles and read, watch a show together, or even to just hang out and talk about nothing. Fall is a great season for family bonding.
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2. Cooler Morning Runs/Walks– The crisp cooler temperature feels very lovely at 6am, but even on the weekends, should I decide to do other things first prior to walking my dog, it still feels lovely around 10am as well.

3. Back to School-Fall screams end of summer and back to school for my daughter. It also allows me to settle back into a routine, which I’m ok with because the lack of routine is what I love about summer. By the time that fall rolls around, I’m ready to be back “ON IT.”

4. Fall Candles– I am a huge lover of candles. Bath and Body Works is where I purchase the bulk of my candles and their fall scents are so lovely to me. This year, my favorites have been: “Caramel Pumpkin Swirl,” “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles,” “Pumpkin Caramel Latte.” I’ve also been burning the “Summer Boardwalk,” which was a summer special, but it literally smells like a carnival, so it still suits me perfectly during this season.
fall candles

5. Time Change-If I were ranking theses in order of importance, this would probably be #1. I am such a morning person. My eyes pop open M-F at 4am and 5am on the weekends with or without my alarm clock and I am constantly waiting for daylight to peek its way through. I am so productive at the top of my day and the “earlier mornings,” allow me to get out earlier for morning cardio, and the “earlier nights,” assist me in winding the house down at a decent hour.

6. Pumpkin Everything: from teas, to coffee (although, I must admit, that this is the first year that I have not enjoyed the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks-it has been replaced by my taste buds with the Teavana Chai Tea), candles, hand sanitizers, pumpkin patches, and even to the rare desserts. There is nothing about pumpkin in moderation for me during this time of the year.

7. Thanksgiving and Fall Décor: My family is huge and the holidays always allow us an opportunity to gather and love all over each other. Also, the décor in my home screams “Harvest Time,” and “Give Thanks.” Not that I need the constant reminders, but it does feel good to look around my home and be reminded as to how blessed I am in so many areas of my life. fall1

I would love to hear some of the things that you enjoy about Fall (Autumn) in the comments section! What about Halloween? Do you enjoy dressing up or dressing your kids up? Do you attend fall carnivals? Please share and I will be mailing out candles to the first two people that leave comments, as well as to my friend and graphic designer Kristy Harris, for sharing the following fall photos with me via Facebook:
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In the meantime, I have also have tickets to giveaway for an upcoming local event. The Masquerade Ball will take place on October 31st, 2014 from 6pm-1am. This event will take place at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center in Sebring, FL. I will be giving away 2 sets of 2 tickets! Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog!

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First Post Injury 5k…

I have been putting this off FOREVER! I never realized how difficult it would be to return to the “running community,” when you’re starting from ground zero. I mean, it’s one thing to have never run a 5k before, but to have once had the ability to run them every day and then not be able to at all…that’s a different story. Or is it?

No, not really. It really isn’t. What I found out was that all of this was really just in my head. I mean, I train people everyday how to restart or return from injury, yet, when it comes to myself, I was beating myself up. Like, really Felicia? So, finally I had to tell myself, #byeFelicia, and I had to do what I had to do.

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That included registering for a race and just doing it! Who knew that just by doing that alone, that a fire would “SPARKLE!” I’ve rekindled my joy in running, well, jogging for now, but I’ve found my joy again and I am so happy that I got over myself! I’m looking forward to building up my mileage again (this time much slower), and hopefully I’ll be able to complete a few more races along the way.

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you some video footage from last week and I’d love to know if you run or have returned to running from an injury in the comment section. Chat with you soon!

Paleo it is…

Finding the right foods that actually agree with my body has NOT been an easy task. It just hasn’t. I have tried basically everything from low fat, to vegetarian, to gluten free, to…Paleo!

It wasn’t until a few short months ago that I was introduced to the Paleo Diet and I immediately noticed many benefits from it. Personally, I am one that tends to carry a lot of water weight. My face and upper body constantly appear “puffy,” to me from day to day.

That was the first benefit that I noticed; the inflammation decreased significantly! I was shocked! Another issue that I have is that my GI (gastrointestinal) system is very sensitive and my stomach would swell immediately after meals and remain that way for hours, even when I consumed healthy meals of whole-wheat grains! Again, I do not have this problem when I’m on Paleo.

How do I know for sure that these observations are from the Paleo Diet? Well, when I travel, I don’t follow my diet and currently, I also slack off on the weekends. Well, guess what happens during those times?  Yep, my symptoms return.

One would think that that would be enough to force me into Paleo fulltime, and I’m sure that I will at some point, but for now, I still enjoy having a slice of pizza during my daughters sleepovers, a few bites of pasta here and there, and oh, quinoa, I love quinoa and it is not Paleo approved. For now, my goal is to remain 75% Paleo. I’m determined to make this a way of life,  and not just some diet that comes and goes. Paleo is simple. It’s easy to shop for and the food prep is just as easy.

I have other videos on my YouTube Channel regarding it, but here’s the latest one, where I prep 3 days worth of food under 40 mins! I would love to hear any healthy tips that you may have or even the struggle or success that you’ve found along the way with choosing the foods that your body agrees with. Please “Speak Your Mind,” in the comments section at the top.

 

Labor Day Weekend…

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my daughter and I had the ability to escape over Labor Day Weekend. Many times, people often ask me how I am able to afford getaways as much as I do and I will be the first to say that I travel on a budget!

I may spend the same amount of money for frequent getaways that many would potentially spend on one. I’m a lover of new experiences and I will haunt a deal down in order to have just that.

In any event, I thought I would share with you, a look at what I was able to nail for $159.20 for the entire 4days and 3 nights.  This was a Groupon deal that appears to have expired but this resort is still a nice little hidden gem. Enjoy!

Palm Beach Resort and Beach Club

My INNER ArTiST…

If I were to pop the question, “What is an artist?” I’m sure that I would receive many rather difficult, opaque definitions. I would probably even receive a few names of many well known artists to support those rather chunky definitions, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso…. just to name a few.

Well, guess who else is an artist? Me. Yep, and so are YOU! My definition would be someone that creates art? Well, what is art? For me, it’s anything that allows me to creatively express my imagination and often times, also my feelings. Personally, my favorite forms of art are writing (duh), dancing, various forms of music, (including the lyrics that I randomly create in the shower and belch out in my fake Beyoncé voice), and scrapbooking/documenting life.

Painting? Not so much. I would say that that is more of my daughter’s thing. I just don’t have the patience for it. I’m horrible at it and quite truthfully, I just don’t understand it. Well, those were my feelings before last night. Last night I went to an “Art Uncorked Class,” at the Visual Arts Center. I would love to say that this was my first time taking one of these classes, but it was my second. Looking back at the first, I was not able to “get into it,” at all. Earlier that day, I had had a run in with the IRS and well…need I say more.

Last night was different. I was meeting one of my best friends (yes, I’m the person with lots of best friends) there. I had also had short/long week of work, and I was really just ready to unwind. The painting of choice looked like something that I would be capable of and even if I screwed it up, it was still one of my favorite scriptures (Philippians 4:13), and I knew that I would hang it somewhere regardless.

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Wow! What an experience. I allowed myself to let my hair down (literally, as I always wear it back or up). I laughed at my mistakes, shared silly comments with other women in the room, and snacked away on some yummy snacks (no calorie counting). There was also wine available, but I was having such a great time without it that I didn’t bother. In the end, I had a very joyful time. I’m certain that everyone did and I can rest assure you that NONE of us would have made your top ten list of artists. I’m very proud of the piece that I created. Yes, we were “guided,” but for the most part, those are MY strokes, MY brush angles, MY contrasts and color options, and also MY feelings/emotions plastered on a canvas.

I challenge you to give ART a try. Here in highlands County, you may start by visiting the Highlands Art League’s website and I also included a few pictures of upcoming paintings with dates in case you are interested. So, from one artist to another, ENJOY!

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Back to Youtube…

As I mentioned before, I began a fitness journey earlier this year. Needless to say, a lot has happen since then. As I was rounding my 33rd birthday, I began to realize that although I was working out and eating well, my body still did not feel completely normal. I have occasionally though that there may be something going on with my thyroid, but most physicians would simply say that I was “normal,’ or “borderline.” In other words, my condition did not warrant treatment.

Finally, I decided to meet with a hormone specialists and we discovered, well, she, discovered that my blood chemistry was all over the place!

Here are the basic results (in the video and here below):

Watch on YouTube: by clicking on the video link above.

Cortisol levels were too high when they’re supposed to be, too low when they should be low, and then again HIGH at night when they should be low.

Thyroid. My thyroid produces too much TSH and T3 is not being converted to T4. T4 is where your energy/metabolism comes from. Also, T3 relies on Ferritin (iron, which was LOW) and B vitamins to convert.

Cholesterol was perfect. Like better than perfect.

Vit D– normal range is 30-100. My practitioner prefers 50-70. I was at 24! Vit D is crucial for immune support, supports bone/muscle, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

My DHEA was also too low. This is another metabolism based hormone.
I also was not producing enough melatonin, which may have been why I was not sleeping well at night.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be breaking down each of these topics and discussing them more in depth. Talk to you soon!

Laughter is OH, Sooo Good for the Soul!

Life has a way of knocking us all on our butts from time to time. Sometimes it may be something that seems so small and meniscal such as the sky opening and a huge downpour of rain occurs as you’re leaving the salon, to things that are much more massive like losing your job or a experiencing a death in the family. Regardless of the situation, it is important to remember that although we cannot control many of the things that happen around us, we CAN control the way in which we respond or react to them.
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As for me, I’ve realized that retreating to the beach and/or a good laugh often aids in resetting my “happy.” So, that’s what I spent the weekend doing and boy am I so “happy,” that I did. Not only did I visually take in lots of beautiful sites, but also, I laughed so HARD, and in such abundance. You know, that type of laughter that is so deep that it hurts, and trying to stop laughing only makes you laugh harder? Yasssssss! That’s it.

(please note, these pics are not from this weekend, but are a collection of happy moments with friends)
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I’m telling you, laughter with your family/friends and sometimes even alone at yourself has many amazing health/psychological benefits. Here are a few:

1. It decreases stress.
2. It aids in coping skills.
3. It boosts your immune system.
4. Talk about a workout, laughter burns calories and releases endorphins as well.
5. It impacts blood sugar.
6. Laughter also impacts your blood sugar.
7. It manages pain.
8. It’s universal, and aids in boosting your social skills.

So in celebration of healthy laughs everywhere, I would like to giveaway 2 tickets for an upcoming Comedy Show that will be held on Wednesday, September 17th, 6pm, at the Chateau Élan-Hotel and Conference Center in Sebring, FL. This show will feature the following Comedians: Bob Lauver & Grandma Lee (as seen on America’s Got Talent). One lucky winner will win both tickets, because, let’s face it; we LOVE having someone to laugh with, right? I would love to hear from you in the comments section! Do you love a good laugh? Has laughter helped you through a difficult time? Are you capable of laughing at yourself? Speak your mind…
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Well, Hello there Junior High….

We survived our first week of middle school! Well, half week that is. Brooklyn loved her first few days and she adjusted extremely well. I, on the other hand, am finally accepting all of the changes that decided to join it.

When I dropped her off to school on Wednesday, as hard as I tried to hold the tears back, I failed miserably. However, please note, I was tough as a nail in her presence, but once she got out of the car…. that was another story. In any event, I decided to share a few things regarding “my,” new adaptations to middle school.
First day od school

1. No one is there to coddle my baby. In elementary school, when you drop your kid off, there’s a troop of educators and staff, waving “Good Morning,” with happy, smiling faces. Heck, even the Principal comes out to greet you on some days! Not middle school. Here, you drop your kid off and they are expected to know where to go and to get there FAST. There is no time for hanging out until you are within your designated area.

2. Friend Patrol. Come on parents, let’s face it. The more you know about who your kids hangout with, the better. Well, as one would imagine, starting a new school equates to meeting new friends. Even more challenging is that many of the new friends are older…more experienced. For example, my daughter has already been “schooled,” by some of the 7th grade girls as to which group of girls that she “DOES NOT” want to belong to because they do nasty things with boys after school. Really? Ok…this mama had to accelerate more of the birds and bees talk prior to my “scheduled time.” I mean, since she’s already receiving the info, I need to at least ensure that it’s correct. Oh, and “those girls,” yeah, Mom is ok with you talking to them. You’re a leader, not a follower, and just because someone else makes choices against what we believe is right, does not mean that you are entitled to be rude or mean to them. Say “hello,” and keep it moving. (Note to self- Add “rumors” to the list)

3. Finally, organization. Wow. Needless to say, elementary school teachers ROCK in this area and I’m sure that the middle school teachers do as well. However, in elementary school, I believe that the teachers took more pride than I did to ensure that my kid’s notebook remained organized. In middle school, she was sent home with tons of papers and on day one her binder looked a HOT MESS! I believe that one of the teachers will be assisting them next week, but in the interim, she was lost. When it comes to organization, I have found that when given a system, she follows it nicely, but creating her own is challenging. Therefore…guess what skill we worked on this weekend? Creating systems that worked for her and yes, I allowed, ok, forced, her to take the lead. Nevertheless, her binder, planner, and book bag are ready for another week.

Now, these are just the top three things that I’ve noticed. Believe me when I say that there are more. Please forgive me if it appears as if there is a negative connotation behind all of this because I know and am aware as to how important all of these areas are for her growth. I too am growing. I’m realizing that her peers are teaching her things just as rapidly as I am. I realize that I have to pull back in areas of co dependence just a tad bit faster than I initially planned. I’m learning to continue to force her to take responsibility for all of her actions and when she fails, suggest another route. I’ve also learned that it is important for me to remain in the “Parent Role.” She has enough friends. However, I will say, that I can see where parents may unintentionally make the switch. That I never understood before last week.

In any event, I can’t wait to share more of this journey with you all! In the meantime, I’ll share a few pictures and I would LOVE to hear how eventful your first week was!
2nd day od 6th grade