Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Dirty Little Secrets ..... Ribbon

Well, here we are starting off another week. Mondays seem to come around so quickly, or is it that the weekends pass to quickly? Whatever the case, we have a busy schedule ahead as we tackle more purging projects for Lent, squeeze in workouts for our February Pledge to Run, and prepare for company arriving on the weekend. Let's hope for good health and sunshine to get us through.

The purging process has been hugely successful around here. I have been getting through a lot of dark, dreary spaces that otherwise I would have been avoiding. Sadly, one of those spaces is my craft room. It is in the basement, shared with seasonal storage and a lazy cat. But I have plans to create something special down there ..... once I find the floor. Boxes and boxes have already left for the donation pile in the garage, but there is still so much to go.

Although I have been trying to leave organizational projects until the purge project is complete, there is something that needed my immediate attention. 

So I guess it is now time for another installment of my Dirty Little Secrets.

Pssst! ..... I have a secret ..... a dirty, little secret .....


I seriously looooovvve ribbon. As you can see, there is quite an assortment but most are Christmas themed. I love to decorate my holiday trees with ribbon, and I usually change my colours/theme each year, so that leaves a lot of discards. Plus, making wreaths for a living lends itself very easily to developing a slight ribbon addiction. Enough said, I have a problem. 

So again, I'm in the basement, so sorry for the poor lighting/pictures, but this gives you an idea of what I'm dealing with.

I took out all the full rolls and stored them on this metal rack for now. Then I grabbed a container for all the bits and pieces left over from projects. I just can't get rid of them, so I'll need to address that later on. Then I started untangling the huge balls of beautiful ribbons and wound them onto left over spools.

A few years ago, I had made these giant bows for my family room Christmas tree ..... Yikes! I have since moved on, but there are at least a dozen of them with approximately 3 yards of ribbon each.  I'm sure I can find another project for this ribbon, so I decided to disassemble them.

Instead of adding to the odds and ends pile, I ironed the ribbon and rolled it onto scraps of cardboard. I marked the end with the measurements for quick reference. It makes the ribbon more useful, neater and easier to store.

So for now, I have it all sorted and up on a shelf rather than scattered and tangled in bins. But I will have to revisit my ribbon section for deeper organization at a later date. I have visions of something like this that I found on Sew Woodsy.

But right now, it's crazy busy wreath season around here, so it will have to go on my dream list.

Does anyone else get slightly giddy when strolling the ribbon aisles? Do you have a super-duper idea for storing tidbits and ends of ribbon? Let me know!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Purging Pointers to Get You Started!

I like to talk myself through things, literally. If you were to walk into my house at any point during the day, you would think I was entertaining a few people. Nope, just me, myself and I.  It's like getting psyched-up before the big game, adrenaline pumping, crowd cheering you on!  Some of my best ideas have been discovered while talking with myself ..... So, whatever works!

Well, this morning I needed a good pep talk as it was Day 1 of Lent and my household purge. It is always hard for me to get started on big projects. So I thought I would share a couple of pointers that I discovered during this process to help you get started as well. 

----- Pick a really overflowing spot that has been driving you crazy!  Something easy in content, like plastic shopping bags or that mountain of towels in your linen closet. You want to fill a bag quickly to get you revved up and eager to do more. Don't start with something sentimental, like photos or kids possessions,  or anything time consuming like office papers.

For example, I started in our library as it is the drop-all spot of our home. It lies between the common area and bedroom area of our home, so it piles up with things going to either zone.  Such as laundry, odds and ends from reno projects and this ......

Those are two blow-up mattresses that have been in the corner of my library for a few weeks now. We had family visiting so the little ones used them to bunk in with their cousins. However, we discovered that both mattresses had slow leaks when the kids woke up flat on the floor in the morning. Oops!  I grabbed two more beds for the next evening but these two damaged ones ended up here ..... and never moved.  I kept telling myself that I was going to patch them when I had some extra time ..... yeah right! That's not going to happen ..... So they were the first items in the garbage bag. Good-Bye! And they were sizable, so the two of them took up more than half of the bag.

----- Check your local waste collection bylaws. Halfway through my morning of purging, I realized that I was putting a lot of recyclables and garbage in with my donations. I figure the last thing we want to do at the end of this project is to backtrack through 40 bags and separate it all!


So I grabbed a clear bag for  garbage,  blue for recycling and black for donation (as that is what our local waste management requires.) And I don't know about you, but our collection laws are strict. We have officers that do random spot checks curbside, tag bags that do not pass inspection and even fine homeowners. So not only do we want to avoid these penalties, but we also want to help the charity workers who sort through our donations and of course our environment.

----- Make lists as you go. I have been using an exercise book to keep my purge project halfway organized. It keeps me on track and although I don't follow it strictly, it is nice to have guidelines when your mojo starts to dwindle.

I made a list of target areas in the house that I need to tackle and I continually add to it as I go along.

I am a procrastinator and find lists keep me on target. I would be tempted to stop purging and paint my linen closet if I thought it needed a fresh coat. But now I just write it down in the margins for a later time. Also,  when I purge an item that I want to sell instead of donate, I'll take note of the item, plus a price and certain details such as it comes with a manual or extra parts. These side notes help immensely later on.

----- Keep a tally of how many bags of garbage and recycling you send to the road each week from this purge project. The paper and packaging is all stuff that has been kicked out of the house. But I cannot hang on to garbage for end results! So a tally will do just fine.

I hope everyone is having as much success as I am through this process. It has been so rewarding to see that donation pile grow each and every day! Let me know how you are making out!


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

40 Days to Cut the Clutter!

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and I am preparing our family for 40 days of purging clutter from our home.

I am always filling bags of random things and dropping them off at our local charities. But our home is now in need of a major overhaul and thought this would be the perfect time of year to do so. It's a good experiment (especially for the kids) to see how much stuff accumulates in our home that we don't really need. 

As most modern day families, we live in excess. I am struggling on a day to day basis to keep the house tidy, but am always defeated by piles of clutter. We have moved numerous times in our 10 years together, and with each move comes more stuff. We also have five children, and with each child comes even more stuff. Toys, clothes, books, school work, gifts, decorative pieces, dishes, sports equipment, seasonal decor ..... the list goes on and on and on .....

Well, today is the beginning of the end to that nonsense! 

I have compiled a chart of target areas throughout the house that need a good cleaning out.  

Each day our goal is one bag. One bag to donate, sell, toss ..... just out of the house!

By the end of the 40 days, we will have a total of 40 bags of STUFF out of our home. Hooray!
I have cleared a large area in our garage to house the bags until the end of Lent. I hope this visual will benefit our entire family and serve as a reminder to keep our future purchases to a minimum. Learning to live with less is something that I preach constantly to our children. Now I will have proof that it can be done!

Is anyone up for this challenge? 

Now I understand that we are all busy and a big project like this takes time. However, I truly believe that if we dedicate the time now, it will save us time in the future with everyday life. Clutter is stagnant, wasteful and stressful. This cleanse is needed in most homes to allow more airflow, creativity and happiness.

Let's get our homes in order and shed the burden of clutter!

So, get yourself to Walmart and grab a box of heavy duty garbage bags ..... how convenient that they come in boxes of 40!!!   Pick a spot and start!  It does take time to get in a rhythm, but once you do, it is empowering! And if you get on a roll, don't stop because your bag is full, open a new one and keep going!!!

Spring cleaning will be so much easier this year!

Happy Bag-Filling! 

Check in and let me know how you are doing!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Altered Running Schedule

I have been exhausted.....

.....utterly and thoroughly 


I took a few days off from running and everything else going on in the house this weekend. We had a massive snow storm here on the East Coast so it was a good excuse not to go anywhere. I even slept in until 7am for 3 days in a row! I am feeling completely new and ready to tackle the world!  

However,  I cannot help but to pause and reflect on how I bottomed out in the first place.

I always try to do too much. ALWAYS!!! The new year started with finishing up old projects, starting new ones and pledging to start a full exercise program. All this mixed with my day to day obligations as a mom to five itty, bitty ones and a wife to one amazing man. As well as regular house chores, meal preparation, homework tutoring, running to and fro for school, groceries, and activities, blogging, my business ..... not to mention early mornings and late nights trying to squeeze it all in  ..... has left me less than vibrant.

So how can I correct this? 

Hire a housekeeper, a nanny, a stand-in wife for a day or two per week? 
No thanks! This may work for some, but it's not for me .....( although I'm sure my husband may smirk about the latter .....)

I finally came to the conclusion that I just need to get better organized, start delegating more, taking on less and doing things less hastily. Good place to start, eh?

My daily observations have also lead me to believe that a lot of my exhaustion comes from stress. For example; Since I have started running, I start thinking about it as soon as I get up in the morning. Worrying about where I am going to find time in my day to run, and what I am going to have to sacrifice to get it done. This sound counter-active I know. Exercise is suppose to bring less stress to my life not more.  Activity for better health and a stronger body ..... right?

AND... I am EXTREMELY sore! The constant aching is tiring in itself. I know it will ease with time, but in the meantime ..... ouch!  My doctor suggested that I start off slower, and build towards a goal of a daily run. To schedule in more rest days to give my body time to repair.

So with this advice in mind, I decided to start with adjusting my new running schedule. I have altered the title to read my February Pledge to Run!!! rather than, my February Pledge to Run ..... Daily!!!

My husband rises early four days a week to go to CrossFit. So I am going to match his schedule and run in the early morning as well. I have never been a fan of exercise first thing as I love rising to fresh coffee and a quiet house. But if I still start my day at 5am as usual, I should be able to exercise, shower and still claim a quiet 30 minutes before the kids rise.

I really feel this small but significant adjustment will give me more time to complete my daily chores and projects. And rather than thinking about exercise all day, I will get it out of the way first thing and give my mind the freedom to think of other things ..... like my Spring wreath collection, landscaping plans, or a new paint colour for my living room!

Less stress, more time ..... sounds like a good plan .....


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Blackboard adhesive....and Day 6 Results!

Hi there! I've had an idea that I have been wanting to test for sometime now. You've seen blackboards/chalkboards EVERYWHERE in Blogland in every which way, shape and form. I love the look, but have always been worried about the mess .....

With five kids in the house, a chalkboard sounds like a great idea. And I have toyed with the idea multiple times ..... a giant one in the toyroom for the kids, one in the mudroom for our daily schedule/chorelists, one in the kitchen for a grocery/menu list. But I just couldn't bite the bullet. What if I didn't like it? How hard would it be to cover up when I was tired of it? What about the nasty odour I hear so much about?

Then one day,  I was strolling the aisles of my local dollar store, and I found this .....

Light bulbs were going off in my head! But, like a lot of things that seem to good to be true, especially from the dollar store, I proceeded with cautionary disbelief.  I bought one roll (just in case it was crap), brought it home (with a bag full of other stuff I didn't know I needed), and then it ended up somewhere at the bottom of my craftroom ..........

I discovered it a few days ago and decided it was high time I give it a try. I wanted to first test it in the places I was already picturing a real chalkboard, like the kitchen. 

The appliance pantry door that is the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen, so having something interesting there is key. I peeled off the back, rolled it down and stuck it to the door.  Seriously, that's all I did! It went on so very easy.  I used a damp cloth to smooth out the odd bubbles ..... but nothing like the bubbles in the frosted window adhesive that I just installed in the garage ..... post coming soon!

In less than 2 minutes I was writing out my menu for the day!

I am so impressed with this. I am now dreaming up a million uses for it! And it will give me a good idea how much I will really use a chalkboard in this space without having to paint.  So awesome!

And for those of you that think the quality must not be there, it wipes off like a breeze! I use a damp micro-fibre cloth at the end of each day before I put up the next day's menu. And I'm just using regular Crayola chalk I found in at Michaels.

Sooooo smooth, and no bubbles!
The kids love it too. Although this one is Mommy's right now, they are requesting them else where in the house. They are no longer asking, "what's for supper?" Because it's right there on the wall! AND ...... when my kids come home from school and see what we are having for afternoon snack, they want to help me prepare it.  I just may be onto something here!

It would look so much better with a big farmhouse frame around it or have the full door painted, but for now, this works. (It is only a test after all.)

So, I'm sure you will see lots of projects in the future using this handy little product. That reminds me, I should run to the dollar store and grab a few more rolls before it's all gone!

Here are the results for Day 6 of my February Pledge to Run.....Daily!!!

Some slight adjustments again today ..... depending on how I feel while running .....

Manual Program: 25minutes

-4mins walk 3.5, 3.5 incline
-16mins run 5.0
-1.5mins sprint 6.0
-4mins walk 3.5, 3.5 incline

1.91 miles
229 cals burned

25 minutes total workout


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Muscle Aches and Day 5 Results

Every day I am seeing small by encouraging changes in my workouts, energy, and attitude. Today was a tough start on the treadmill. It took a good 8-10 minutes into my run to stop wincing. Every muscle, tissue and fiber holding my body together ached ...... Every time my feet hit that belt I felt it! In my hips, thighs, quads, you name it, it hurt!  But I pushed through the pain (Biggest Loser here I come!) and ended my run with better results than the day previous. So again, I am impressed. (Being a red-haired, firey Aries sometimes has its benefits!) 

Here are the results from Day 5 of my  February Pledge to Run....Daily!!!

Bad iPhone photo of my finish screen...just for proof!

Manual Program: 25minutes

-4mins walk 3.5, 2.5 incline
-16mins run 5.0
-1min sprint 6.0
-4mins walk 3.5, 2.5 incline

1.90 miles
223 cals burned

25 minutes total workout

Zen Inspiration and Day 4 Results

I start each day with first my iPhone alarm, a glass of water and an inspirational quote from my Zen calendar. Now I am far from being "zen", but I am working towards a more genuine and fulfilled life. These quotes start your day on the right foot and get your mind focused ..... a couple cups of coffee will do the same thing ..... but for now I'm talking Zen. 

My husband gets this daily desk calendar for me each year for Christmas. It sits on my kitchen counter where I can reference it throughout the day. It is an easy way to refocus when things get a little chaotic and truly inspires you to make changes and move forward in a positive direction. 

There are different categories of quotes such as Meditation, Awareness, and Thought. The past few days have been focused on Purpose, Preparation & Progress, which has been very fitting for what I am currently experiencing in my own life. 

Just for an example, here is the quote for today:

"The perfecting of one's self is the fundamental base of all progress and all moral development."  -  Confucius
If you ever see this series of calendars by DateWorks, pick one up and be inspired!

......... My husband also has a daily desk calendar that he keeps in his office...... although the quotes are not so much about inspiration and progress, but more to do with annoying yellow characters and Duff beer .......

Does anyone else have this Zen calendar? Or reference another like my husband? Maybe an inspiration board to pin quotes up? Or an online version of the same?

Here are the Day 4 Results for my February Pledge to Run....Daily!!!

Manual Program: 25minutes

-4mins walk 3.5, 2.5 incline
-16mins run 5.0
-1min sprint 6.0
 -4mins walk 3.5, 2.5 incline

1.89 miles
221 cals burned

25 minutes total workout

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Shaklee Shake and Day 3 Results

Hello! I'm writing a lot these days trying to catch-up on my running results. Since I've been reworking my schedule and working-out, things have been busier than ever! Plus we've been experiencing some wintery weather which equals school I've had five little ones under my toes while juggling all of my commitments.

So today I wanted to share with you a recent yummy discovery. I have been obsessed with Shaklee products for about a year now. I discovered them while searching online for the best natural household cleaners. And they did not disappoint, they are AMAZING! 

I've been so impressed with them that I am considering selling them as they are not widely available here in Nova Scotia...Cape Breton in particular. But before I sign on the dotted line, I want to personally test the products so that I have confidence and experience to back them. 

Now I have tried the Shaklee Get Clean products, vitamins, supplements and facial care products and love them all. But for the past couple of months, I have been fighting these last 20lbs of my weight-loss journey. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to try their Cinch products. They are a bit like SlimFast, where you replace either breakfast or lunch with a shake, but much healthier and more natural. At the same time, I was looking for a recovery shake for after my run. Because this is milk (or soy milk) based and full of protein, I could use it for both purposes.

The first day, I did my run and mixed up a shake for my recovery and lunch. I love vanilla, so I chose the vanilla powder and mixed it with light vanilla soy milk.  I will admit, I was not fully impressed. It was delicious in flavour, and extremely filling (I even skipped my afternoon snack!) but it was.....powdery.....almost gritty in texture.

The next day, my husband was home and was making his NutriBullet shake and suggested I use his machine to mix my Shaklee shake. 

My adjusted recipe is as follows:

-2 scoops of Cinch Vanilla powder mix
-1 cup of light vanilla soy milk
-1 cup of ice
- half of a banana....

Holy Cow! YUM!!! No more powdery taste, just deliciousness!

So I've been using it everyday since and I will be sure to keep you updated with the results. But so far, I am impressed with another Shaklee product. Have any of you tried or currently using any Shaklee products? Other weight-loss products? Recovery shakes? I love hearing results! Let me know!

Speaking of are the Day 3 Results for my February Pledge to Run...Daily!!!

Manual Program: 25minutes

-4mins walk 3.5, 2.5 incline
-16mins run 5.0
-1min sprint 5.5
-4mins walk 3.5, 2.5 incline

1.84 miles
214 cals burned

25 minutes total workout

Super Bowl, Crayons and Day 2 Results

I'm here, I'm here, I didn't skip town on you.....although, in all seriousness I don't think I could "skip" anywhere right thighs are on fire!  This February Pledge to Run...Daily!!! has been hard on this old girl.

We had a few friends in for the Super Bowl last night (Go 49ers!!!!....I guess it's a little too late for!) so I didn't get a post together yesterday as there was a tonne of stuff to do around here in prep for our guests/party.

As many of you know, life with kids is a constant discovery show. My boys are crafty kids. Everyday there are markers, glue, glitter, stickers, paper bits, and clay everywhere. Our dining room is the most under-used room in our house, (we are pretty casual around here) so it has become a makeshift craft room. Until yesterday, when we were expecting guests and I had a boatload of food to serve. I needed to rescue my table, so I grabbed a handy laundry basket and filled it with the table contents. And much to my horror, under all of the pencils and paper, I discovered this....

This was just after I had wiped it down with a damp cloth.
Now, I love that my kids enjoy crafting as much as I do...but Hello!, THAT is a HUGE mess on my dining table!  I know, I know, Mommy should have put down a protective cover of some sort, but Mommy is busy and really didn't think of it.....until she was in a mad dash prior to our house party. 

What is that? crayon? marker? I have no idea! So I grabbed my Shaklee Get Clean Scour Off, thinking it needed a little grit to get things moving. And move it did!

With a damp micro-fibre cleaning cloth, a touch of Scour Off and some elbow grease, the "artistry" was removed from my dining room table. I didn't want to really scrub like I would my kitchen sink, as I was afraid of lifting the finish. So I gently wiped back and forth, going with the grain of the wood, Now it did take a little bit of time... around 10 minutes for the whole table. But using Shaklee's Get Clean line of natural cleaners makes me feel a lot more secure... especially around food surfaces.

After finishing with Shaklee Scour-Off.

Added a touch of orange oil to recondition the wood after cleaning.

So thankful, as we were too close to guests arrival for fussing. We covered the table with lots of munchies and a big pot of chilli...YUM! (Go 49ers!!!....still no?!) 

Super Bowl food table.
Fun was had by all and even though my team didn't win, we enjoyed our Super Bowl night.

I even squeezed in my workout mid-afternoon, as I knew that I had a pledge to uphold as well as a night of high-calorie indulgence ahead. 

Here are the results from Day 2 of my February Pledge to Run....Daily!!!

Now you'll notice a jump from Day 1 Totals. I set a manual program of 20 mins to include a 5 minute cool-down. But while I was running and getting into my groove, the clock reached the cool down portion of my workout. However, I felt like I had more left in the I kept going. And let me tell you, I felt like I had just won a gold medal! Breaking through barriers and personal goals are the ultimate motivators!

Manual Program - 20 minutes (4mins walk 3.5, 2.5 incline)(16mins run 5.0)
1.54 miles
185 cals burned

Extra 5 minutes - Cool Down (walk 3.0, 2.5 incline)
0.25 miles
21 cals burned

25 minutes total workout


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Day 1 Results are in.....I am Impressed!

OK, the results are in, and I am still breathing! Therefore, Day 1 of my Pledge to Run...Daily! was successful!

Yesterday began with adjustments in my schedule as I had an extra little person in the house. Elliot had the day off from school due to an in-service, and lets just say that he is a very busy little four year old boy.  But I bribed him with my iPhone convinced him to be my cheering section while I did my run.
Here is Elliot's photograph of Mommy running...ha!ha! It's me, I swear!
I was reminded as to why formal exercise had fallen to the wayside in the past. Life is busy...especially with little ones. Your schedule is always being altered no matter how hard you plan. Little ones get sick, forget their eye glasses (another event that happened yesterday) and sometimes are just stubborn and don't want to do what is on your schedule (and maybe a little bit of this happened too!) That's why wanting change is so important. I want to change. I want to be healthier, happier, stronger, more energetic, more confident. So even though these obstacles were presented to me yesterday when I was all geared up to start my new program, I still made it work....because I wanted to change.

So, after I did the morning school drop-offs, grocery shopping, another school run for forgotten glasses, snacks for Elliot, Audrey & myself, and put baby girl down for her was time for my run. I was already behind schedule and a little frustrated because of the fore-mentioned interruptions, so I took few quiet moments to collect my thoughts, gave myself a pep-talk and squeezed into some spandex! Wow, so glad I'm running today! TIP: If you ever need to get motivated to workout, pour yourself into some workout gear and take a good long look. Ouch!

Now I'm not going to lie, I was nervous. Nervous because I had set myself up for this challenge and was afraid of poor results. But what are poor results if nothing other than proof that you need to be doing this? So I logged-in (my treadmill has a user profile) and I was instantly overjoyed! The last time I had used my treadmill was 30lbs ago! So to start my workout, I had to press that down arrow 30 times!!! What an energy boost!

There are so many programs on my machine, but I wanted just a straight run to see what I could do, so I chose the Manual option. I set it for 15mins...being more than generous, but not self-doubting...and started...

-I walked for the first 2 mins at 3.0 (2.0 incline) to warm-up 

-increased to 3.5/4.0 for 2 more minutes and then I couldn't handle it anymore!

-upped it to 5.0 (0 incline) and ran!

For 11 full minutes I ran.....comfortably.  

That 30lb loss obviously made a difference since the last time I ran. I then started feeling like I had sold myself short, that I should have added more time, pushed myself. 

-I added 5 mins at 3.5 for a walk to cool down 

When I was finished, assured myself that I had done enough for my first day. 

Now, I am no Bob Harper (secret hearts), but I did on the treadmill what I felt like doing at the time. When I felt I could run, I ran. I didn't plan this workout ahead of time, it was my first day and I wanted to see what I could do.  I'm sure the days ahead will be full of adjustments and challenges.

For Day 1, the results are in and I am impressed with myself!

Here are my stats according to my treadmill monitor:

Manual Program - 15 minutes (4mins walk/11mins run)
1.18 miles
147 cals burned

Extra 5 minutes - Cool Down (walk)
(outside of these results)

20 minutes total workout

Not too bad for an out-of-shape girl trying to make a come back! I hope you are all pushing yourselves to do a little more physical activity each day. You don't have to run on a treadmill, or go to the gym, just move more than you did yesterday!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Scheduling Time for LIFE

Well, here we are...Day 1 of my February Pledge to Run Daily! It is 5am and I am up planning my day to include my run. It will take some adjustments in my schedule, but I am truly looking forward to it! 

When I first started brainstorming this pledge, I became fully aware of how chaotic my daily schedule had become. No wonder there was no room for daily exercise! I was exhausted from running in circles all day, from one task to the next with lists upon lists of things still left to be done. Constantly frustrated and unfulfilled. 

I was reminded of my sister when she had her second child and made the decision to stay at home to raise her family. And while to some this sounds ideal, the endless days of cleaning, cooking, and changing diapers, was a HUGE change for her. She would call and ask, "how do you do it?"....."don't you get bored?" I remember telling her to treat her job as a stay-at-home Mom the same as being a career woman outside of the home. Start each morning with the same routine as if you were leaving for work; hop up, shower, dress, eat breakfast and write your to-do list. (TIP: Always wear a pretty pair of earrings and a squirt of your favorite makes you feel special and ready to tackle the day!) With each task you accomplish, cross it off, same as you would at your office. Schedule appointments for yourself, it may not be with business executives, but with play-dates or the doctors office.  

Make your job important and it will be!  

Well, it must have worked, as she now has four beautiful children and is loving life!
So taking my own advice, I opened my trusty "LIFE" binder to a clean page and wrote a list of all the things I had done since my feet hit the floor that morning. I continued to do this until bedtime... and then the next day ...and the next day. It lays open on my kitchen counter (where I spend most of my day) so I don't forget to log what I have accomplished.

First thing in the morning, the sun is bright = poor photos. But you get the idea! 

From the first hour of tracking my day, I knew this was just what I needed to get into gear!

TIP: Use bright fun coloured pens to track your makes work seem a little more fun! 

It is the same idea as tracking what you eat. Until you start logging your intake, you are unaware of how many calories you are actually consuming. So not only did this daily task tracker show me what I accomplished throughout the day, it also showed me what I failed to accomplish. 

The second day I started by reviewing the previous day to see what took a lot of time, what I didn't have room for, and why I never had my afternoon snack!  Schedule it in people, coffee breaks too! So I slightly rearranged a few things, and the next day the same and so on. I am hoping by the end of two weeks I will have a pretty tight, working schedule. 

It is amazing what you can find by reviewing this data. How much time opens up that you thought never existed. I even found an extra 15 minutes to do a Sudoku puzzle! Today, I have opened up the time-slot of 11-11:45 am (when the baby naps) to hit the treadmill. And even though I will not be running for the allotted 45 mins (ha!ha!) I plan on warming up immensely before I start and using the remainder of the time peeling myself off of the floor! 

Is anyone else starting a fitness routine? Trying to find time in your schedule? A stay-at-home Mom who needs time for a coffee break?!!!

Check back tomorrow for the first entry in my Running Log! 

Just for fun.....I did a close-up on this grasshead that my Oliver made for me at his school. It is a constant source of smiles and inspiration. Not only is he fun, but it was made for me with love. 

TIP: Keep things that make you smile close to where you work.