10 Things To Do When You (finally) Have Some Time To Yourself

Your time is your own. Bend it to your will. Peak Performance Day Wednesday Wisdom clock tiny clock take your time

Hello! This is going to be a quick one, but it is something I have been meaning to share for so long and just never did. I have a list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself. (Now, I am not saying this is only for the Mammas, but if you know a Mamma, chances are she could use this list. Please share it. If she says she doesn’t have time to “read some stupid blog”, she definitely needs this list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself! Believe me.)

You know how it goes? Thoughts of ‘Who would want to read that?’ and ‘Who cares?’ have a weird double life going on.

On the one hand, ‘Who would want to read that?’ gets a a flippant answer like, ‘Literally, no one.’ (sometimes with the added jab of a mumbled ‘you idiot’) and ‘Who cares?’ gets a ‘Yeah, you’re right. What’s the point? Why bother?’ in reply.

However, I have been silencing my inner jerkball and as an exercise in following through, I have decided that this teensy post on self care deserves to see the light of day.

Besides, I know for a fact that at least two-thirds of my tens of readers probably need this list right this very minute.

The Holidays are upon us and they can be so wonderful and they can also be so completely overwhelming.

I am hoping you remember to put yourself on your list. I am reminding you that self care is as simple as taking 5 minutes to yourself. You do not require a lot of money or stuff. You do not need a spa day. Maybe a nice hand cream slathered on in silence will do.

Oh, I am not saying I would turn down an escape to a Nordic Spa or Seaside resort. I mean. Let’s be real. What I am saying is that while spectacular, those things are not necessary.

So pay yourself a bit of respect, show yourself some love, and give yourself some good old fashioned TLC.

Not sure where to start? (This is why it is good to have your very own personal Peady*. Ha ha!)

I have thought about this a lot over the years and while I still have difficulty following through on some things, I am getting better at taking time for myself to cover basics and now and then, when something fancy schmancy comes along, I don’t let those opportunities pass me by!

Here you go!

  1. Have a glass of wine.
  2. Read a trashy magazine.
  3. Clean your brain out by reading one chapter of a very serious Oprah-type book. : )
  4. REEEELAX.
  5. DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT DISHES OR LAUNDRY.
  6. Go to the movies or rent a good one.
  7. Eat something chocolate.
  8. Order dinner in!!
  9. Have a long bubble bath with candles and good music.
  10. Do your nails!

How’s that?

By the way, this list of 10 things to do when you (finally) have some time to yourself is a list that I have e-mailed to friends in the past. Quite a while ago now. If you are one of them, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and tell me if you actually did any of the things. 😀

Now go and be nice to yourself!

big squeezy hugs

 

Don’t you *love Sandra Boynton?!?

 

5 (MORE) Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration on Giving Tuesday (orrrr … you know it’s time to update when an organization evolves into a whole movement!)

Giving a gift on Giving Tuesday, donate, double your impact, charitable organizations,

Hello! Today is Giving Tuesday! As promised (and, I feel, it’s very much required!), I am here with 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on Giving Tuesday! (I mean, if you go back to my original post the organizations are still all great, but Free The Children has evolved into WE Movement over the years and well, it just so happens to be one of my very favourite organizations. It’s about time I get some proper, super-fresh links up in here, so you can see just how amazing it is these days. (Not to mention all the gorgeous rafikis. Oh, the rafikis!! SO GOOD!)

By my calculation, there are about 4 more hours (give or take) left in Giving Tuesday in The Maritimes and about 8 on the West Coast, so there is definitely a lot of giving time left.

“Hey, Laur! Just a sec. What the heck is Giving Tuesday?”, I can almost hear you saying. I can’t take the time to explain it right now. We have to get giving! BUT! This handy dandy little video will explain it all.

So without further ado, I give you 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on this Giving Tuesday! (That was totally further ado. Hah!)

I promise I will keep this brief. (I’ll just wait while you get that laughter out of the way.) Seriously! I can be succinct when it is important. I can! I don’t wish to waste time that you, my dear tens of readers, could be using to donate to some deserving organization. Watch me now.

I know you all hear on a regular basis how much of a fan I am of WE, I have already linked them in this post and they are in my original post, too, so I won’t include them in my official 5 (MORE) worthy causes, but I will have you know that I donated to WE by buying a goat earlier this evening. They have amazing sponsors multiplying donations today! My single goat became a herd of TEN goats. Amazing!

Okay! This is it.

Drumroll please! (I kid. I kid. A rousing round of applause will totally do.)

I give you 5 (MORE) worthy causes for your kind consideration on Giving Tuesday.

Nova Scotia SPCA – As many of you know, this year we welcomed a sweet little black cat called Luna into our family. Oh, sure we rescued her, but she rescued us, too! Our family is better because of this little creature who was put in our path by the wonderful work of the NS SPCA. This is an organization that is very much worthy of your donation dollars.

Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia  – Alzheimer’s is a cause near and dear to my heart. My maternal grandmother had it and, as luck would have it, my 84 year old mother also has it. There is no nice way to say it–it stinks. My kids have been robbed of an awesome Grammy experience. (They never even had the chance to meet my father, but I digress …)(Hug your parents, people!) My mother would have been an on the floor, play in the dirt, pick all the blueberries, bake all the squares, sing all the songs Grammy. She did her best for as long as she could and she still can have a conversation with my kids, so we are grateful. Even if each “conversation” is literally a variation on a theme. (We call them loops. My kids take it in stride. It has pretty much been this way for their whole lives.) So, when I tell you Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia is worthy of your donations, I sincerely mean it and thank you for considering it.

Xerces Society – For the love of the almighty Bumble Bee (and other invertabrates), please consider donating to Xerces Society. These are the folks behind Bumble Bee Watch. (click the link to read more!) I think they are doing important work for our planet and have uploaded many a photo of bees to have them identified and catalogued. So fun! If you care for Earth, you simply must care for the bees!

Feed Nova Scotia – The Holidays are coming and plenty of food drives are taking place, but soon it will be the New Year and sometimes–fickle humans that we are–we forget that there are hungry bellies all year round. Sure it’s nice to donate a few canned goods and some non-perishable items, but if anyone knows how to stretch a buck it is the people who work behind the scenes at food banks. Cash can go very, very far. MUCH further than a can of tuna, some noodles, and some soup. Feed Nova Scotia is most definitely worthy of your donation dollars today. I guarantee they will put it to good use and make it go way further than you think possible.

Phoenix Youth Programs – I am the mother of teenagers. I was a teenager once and believe me when I tell you, I am not so far removed from teens today. It is hard to be a kid. Heck! It is hard to be human at all. But! Being a teenager in 2019 is really challenging. There is a LOT to process on any given day and trying to filter out the yuck when you are not at your best or without support from home can be downright daunting. I am so grateful my kids are healthy and happy (for the most part), that they talk to me, that they feel safe enough to say what they need to say (and hopefully temper it with kindness). This time of year, as the cold weather begins creeping in, I can’t help but get teary when I think of kids, just like mine, trying to make it on their own. Phoenix Youth Programs exist to support these kids and their families. This organization is on my list this year for sure. (If Giving Tuesday is not your jam, they often have lists of needs that can be met at other times of the year. Go check out their website by clicking the link I have provided.)

C’est tout!

I am hitting publish to get the word out STAT!

Thank you for reading and thank you times 2 for choosing to support a charity today.

Give where you live. It can make a world of difference.

*Credit where credit is due: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash (Don’t you love it?)

Late Night Friday Fun or How to Write a Blog Post in 10 Minutes

chris-adamus-30858
Well, well, well. We made it. Friday at last!

Yes. It’s still Friday. Oh sure, it is just about midnight, but I have vowed to post something new to ye olde blog and that is exactly what I am going to do. Never mind the fact that I have been messing with the space time continuum all week here, there, and everywhere.

What a week! It was good over all, but it felt so long. I had a strong start on Monday, though, and that made all the difference in me surviving a very long week. As opposed to two short weeks in a row. I mean 5 whole school days in a row! Wow! Wait. No. Thing 2 had 5, but Thing 1 only had 4. Plus, as the Mother/Chauffeur, let’s face it, all my weeks are long!

Honestly, this week was a roller coaster. It had me feeling like this on Monday because I finally managed to hit publish.

Tuesday was nice. I made the most amazing tacos for dinner and everyone loved them.

On Wednesday, the rain began.

I was exhausted and couldn’t nap because I am bad at naps. Also, grey rainy days always make me feel so very peckish. Of course, no good ever comes of this.

Thursday was also rainy, but it was an intermittent rain. There were nice little breaks interspersed among the torrential downpours. I had appointments to get to, so I decided to make the most of it.

I was feeling pretty positive on Thursday. I had a positive Parent Teacher interview experience. That is always such a welcome surprise. Thursday was alright.

This was me on Thursday night.

Also this

because balance.

Friday, as usual, arrived just in the nick of time.

My week might best be describes as emotional.

So when I decided that I was going to do as little as possible on Saturday, I most definitely felt like this.

Then I texted my NS BFF and told her I wanted cake.

Because I have a lot of feelings and they are all delicious.

And that is how you write a blog post in 10 minutes.

bows

Now about that cake …

*Full disclosure: This took slightly longer than 10 minutes because Giphy is an internet rabbit hole if ever there was one. Yay, Giphy.

25 Things I Have Been Busy Doing That Have Prevented Me From Blogging


The B word.

No. Not that one. The other one. The really, really, really, horrible one.

Yeah. That one. You guessed it.

BUSY!!

None of us can escape it these days it seems and so I thought maybe instead of apologizing for it or for not blogging consistently I would swing by and post something off the cuff with zero apologies for people who don’t understand and with the confidence that most of you are in the same boat and will absolutely be able to relate.

Also, because we are all very busy, I have decided that a numbered list is the most efficient way to share what it is I want to say. A list is so much easier to digest, right? (I mean BuzzFeed is practically 100%  made up of listicles and BuzzFeed would never steer us wrong.)

So without further ado, I give you ~

25 Things I Have Been Busy Doing That Have Prevented Me From Blogging 

(I may need to work on the name of the list. Meh. I’ll worry about that later.)

  1. Being consumed by the news of the world.
  2. Worrying about blogging.
  3. Worrying about not blogging.
  4. Eating too many carbs.
  5. Worrying about eating too many carbs.
  6. Missing lunch dates with dear friends.
  7. Worrying about missing lunch dates with dear friends.
  8. Missing coffee dates with some of my favourite people.
  9. Trying to find time to organize coffee dates with some of my favourite people.
  10. Worrying about never having coffee dates with some of my favourite people ever again.
  11. Trying to build a business.
  12. Worrying about building a business.
  13. Wondering who the heck I think I am that I can build a business.
  14. Worrying about why I don’t think I have what it takes to build a business. I do. Shut up brain!
  15. Working online all the time. All. The. Time.
  16. Worrying about working online so much.
  17. Not exercising.
  18. Not eating well.
  19. Forgetting to take my iron.
  20. Worrying about why my iron is low.
  21. Being tired.
  22. See number 19. Derp.
  23. Over promising and under delivering.
  24. Worrying about letting *everybody* down *all* the time.
  25. Flipping rapidly back and forth between ALL THE FOMO and considering hermitage as a valid lifestyle.

I have limited my list to 25 things because I know you’re busy, too. Who has time to read 26 things?!? Slackers! That’s who! (I’m considerate like that.) This list could easily have 100 things.

I have one husband and two children. A lot of my busy is for them and/or because of them. I know I’m not the only one delivering the occasional lunch to school, but waiting for nearly 30 minutes for a kid to come and fetch it might be a uniquely me experience. (This week. Grr. I was so annoyed. Totally learned a new thing, though. Apparently, High School lets out at 12:30 for lunch. Mmhm. It’s nearly the end of November, you’d think maybe someone might have mentioned that by now, but you’d be wrong.)

Anyhoo …

Life, right?

So, before I can think myself out of hitting publish I’m going to hit publish.

How has your Fall been? Are you also suffering from the B word?

How are you handling the news of the world?

Do you have a surefire remedy for wanting/not wanting simultaneously to do ALL the things?

Feel free to mull those questions over (and to post answers in the comment section!) while enjoying one of my favourite busy day mindworms.

My Current Mindworm {A Semi-Regular Series} : Cheap Thrills (Sia ft. Sean Paul)

Come on, come on, turn the radio on
It’s Friday night and it won’t be long
Gotta do my hair, put my make-up on
It’s Friday night and it won’t be long ’til I

Hit the dancefloor
Hit the dancefloor
I got all I need
No I ain’t got cash
I ain’t got cash
But I got you baby

Is that perfect or what?

I cannot get enough of Sia. I have been a fan for quite some time. I didn’t discover her swinging from a chanelie-eer.. from a chandelie-eeeeer … either.

The first time I heard Sia was when I heard this song.

That was a long time ago. Thing 2 was about 2. Itty bitty compared to now. I loved Sia’s voice instantly and then I saw the video and was in awe. A true artist in every sense of the word. That is what I felt I was seeing and hearing.

The word artist gets tossed around rather haphazardly these days, I think. Much like the words sexy and basically, it is overused. But I digress.

My point is Sia is amazing and I have been enjoying her music for years, but now my kids are totally loving her, too, and that makes me extra happy. Yay!

So, without further ado, I give you the video for the song we are loving and listening to lots lately. The song is fabulous and fun and the video is highly enjoyable. If you decide to play it, please actually sit (or stand, but definitely stay!) long enough to watch until the end. It’s worth your time. I promise. I’ve watched it at least three times while writing this (short) post, so you can imagine how many times I have watched it since it was released.

The song is in pretty heavy radio rotation ’round here, too, and we have yet to switch stations to avoid it. A sure sign of a terrific tune! Thing 2 knows all the words and has been heard singing in the backseat of the car during road trips, during breakfast on a daily basis, and/or bursting out in full voice randomly while alone in her room. Yep. It’s a hit!

She will love the video when I show her.

I love that it is a lyric video. That normally bugs me, but this time it is, again, highly enjoyable. I hope you enjoyed it!

So, what songs have you been singing this summer?

What’s your current mindworm?

Go ahead and share it in the comments. If you know me at all, you know I love music and if you share something new to me all the better!

I hope your Friday night has at least a little bit of dancing and maybe even a few cheap thrills.

Source: Sia’s VEVO Channel, a beautiful, artistic rabbit hole, which – and I am sure this surprises exactly zero of my readers – I highly recommend you allow yourself to fall down.

Source: The Guardian

Summer Snack: KISS Edition

white chocolate chocolate dipped strawberries sweet

We just had an awesome and delicious snack and I am not exaggerating one bit when I tell you the kids can make it themselves. I whipped it up this time, but next time they’re on their own. Frankly, it’s just as well. I don’t think I can be trusted all alone with its deliciousness.

Have I piqued your interest? Are you curious? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat?

Well, okay then. I’ll tell you what our scrumptious afternoon snack was today. It was so simple you might just think I am silly for blogging about it. Then again you didn’t think to have this today, did you? Oh ho ho! I’ve got you there, haven’t I?

Okay, okay. Enough with the suspense already!

We had juicy, fresh, local strawberries dipped in white chocolate. Ta daa!

So easy! Right?

Here’s what I did.

Pick or buy fresh local strawberries. Ours were bought, but most definitely local and oh so fresh.

Clean them and remove any that might be iffy or mushy or underripe. Taste test 17 just to be sure.

Get some good quality, white chocolate. Today we used Baker’s, but white chocolate chips, white chocolate melting wafers, white chocolate chunks from your bulk food store, etc., would all work fine.

Break the chocolate into individual squares. Or if using larger blocks chop it up using a serrated edge knife. This will help it melt faster and also will give you a chance to taste test the chocolate to make sure it hasn’t gone bad. It hasn’t. Taste it anyway. You know, just in case.

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I used one of my trusty little square dip bowls from President’s Choice. (More on those later. It’s a very short love story.)

Pop the chocolate into the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir gently. You are not trying to whip it up, really, you want smooth, bubble-free, shiny chocolate. Place back in microwave for 10 seconds. Stir. This may be enough time, but if you need more melting time, be sure to use only 10 second intervals because you don’t want the chocolate to seize or burn. That’d be a shame.

Give the chocolate one final gentle stir and place in the centre of a platter.

Fill the platter with your beautiful, clean, fresh, local strawberries and stand back while the wolverines – umm – I mean children dig in!

See?

I bet you’re glad I suggested all that taste testing when you first started this little snack journey, now, aren’t you?

You’re welcome.

December Has Been A Blur

Christmas lights music piano sadness blues

This month has flown by and I admit I feel a little bit overwhelmed.

I am finally getting what I want in many ways, and yet I am feeling like a failure because I didn’t have time to do a lot of the fun leading-up-to-Christmas stuff that we usually do.

Right now, as I type, I am having a horrible case of the guilts.

I hate guilt. Hate it. It’s useless. It’s as bad as shame. As a matter of fact, Shame can take a flying leap hand-in-hand with Guilt off the tallest cliff they can find. They need to go away. Seriously.

I am doing the best that I can.

What if it isn’t good enough?

It feels like it isn’t good enough, right now, and that – let me tell you – stinks.

I am here with two kids on their first official day off from school. I should (ugh.. Should might need to grab the ankle of Shame as it starts the decent from that cliff.) be doing something fun with my kids.

What am I doing?

I am ruminating about things I cannot change.

I am worrying about something that is beyond late that should have been done in November and of letting people down.

I am wondering when I will figure out how to be in three places at once and make all those places the happiest places ever.

I am being stupid because none of my rumination, worry or wonder can possibly make everything perfect.

AND! OH MY DEAR SWEET LORD! Perfect better be the pilot of the leap from that stOOpid cliff because it is the WORST!

Why do I do this to myself?

I know I am not the only one. I know that this, the most wonderful time of the year, can be a challenge to anyone at any given time. I know people are far from family and want to be near or they are near to family and would love to be anywhere but there.

No one has all the answers.

I know this to be true.

I do.

But what I wouldn’t give to be able to control it all.

I would be the merriest of festive fascists, ever!

Everyone would get what they want and need and no one would be without.

Not happiness, or health, or love, or food, or family, or friends, or festivity.

It would be – oh, I hate to say it – perf- NO! I refuse.

It would be ideal.

In the meantime, this is today’s soundtrack.

Now please excuse me, while I continue my annual ugly cry at my desk.

It’s okay. I’ll be fine.

Mr. Rogers was onto something. Crying really does get the sad out of you.

So, tell me, how are you holding up?

I know I am not alone. I never am, really.

Go ahead. Let it out.

Source

Five Worthy Causes For Your Kind Consideration On Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday.

What’s Giving Tuesday?

Well think of it as the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) of charity.

Giving Tuesday is like “opening day of the giving season.”

It is a day to think about others and to take advantage of a doubling of your dollars because many charitable organizations have a “matching” sponsor. This means that you literally double your donation in some cases.

Give $20 and your organization receives $40.

Donate $50 and voila $100 goes to your favourite fund.

How cool is that?

You can learn more about Giving Tuesday here (please do!) but I want to quickly share with you a handful of my favourite organizations, in case you want to make a donation before midnight!

Free The Children Free The Children is the brainchild of Craig and Marc Keilburger and you can read all about how they founded this amazing organization and the subsequent We, Me To We, and We Day awesomeness here.

David Suzuki Foundation – I have been a fan of David Suzuki for as long as I can remember. A few years back, he actually stepped down as the head of his own foundation to take attention away from his own struggles with a government that seemed determined to paint him as a radical. Oh! He’s radical alright! Radically awesome!

World Wildlife Foundation (Canada) – I hope you know about WWF Canada, for the love of our planet. This organization is famous for its symbolic wildlife adoptions (which make fabulous gifts for Things of all ages), Earth Hour, and many other initiatives. I wear my feelings for WWF Canada on my sleeve and I make no apologies for it. I wrote a guest blog way back when. I have written about it here on my blog and also here. We have one home. It’s the planet we live on. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves, isn’t it?

Because I Am A Girl – I am! You might be. Thing 2 is. My sister is. My mother, too. You either are one, have one or were made by one. Girls matter! Educating girls improves the lives of everyone. BIAAG Canada is taking this knowledge and sharing it around the world. You may have heard about their Pink Lemonade Stands and their using small actions to drive big change initiatives. How wonderful! We are big fans and my face goes all gigantic grin every time Thing 2 emerges from her room in the morning sporting her pink BIAAG T-shirt. “Girls’ rights are human rights.” Your darn right they are!

 

BIAAG, Thing 2,

Malala Fund – Oh Malala! What a wonderful human being! If ever there was a person with a higher purpose than she ever could have known, it is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is an education activist and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. She was in school when the call came that she had won. She told her teacher she would finish her studies for the day. Malala is walking the talk. I am a fan. Her book is beautiful, the children’s adaptation is great, and now there is even a movie!

So, whether you donate, share, learn or do some small act of kindness today you have taken part in Giving Tuesday and you have made a difference.

What you do matters.

I, for one, appreciate it.

Thank you!

BB In The Bucket

BB in the Bucket, Advent fun, play

Sometimes I just do stuff, you guys.

True story.

It happens.

I don’t always share the stuff I do.

My kids get most of me, you know?

Oh sure! I share a lot of stuff online – here, there, and everywhere – but I don’t share everything.

I think this is worth sharing for two reasons.

1) It’s easily adaptable and anyone can do it.

2) It’s my way of celebrating what I love, without dissing something I dislike.

Ready?

Okay!

Ta daa!

BB scroll, BB in the Bucket scroll,

BB in the Bucket, day 1, hiding in plain sight, scroll

BB-in-the-Bucket

Thing 2 finding BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent, Christmas Countdown

BB explains it well, Thing 2, reading, BB in the Bucket

BB in the Bucket

It’s December 4th and look who is here!

It’s BB! But wait. What’s this I hear?

She’s wearing a hat with a sparkly ball

There’s a sparkly scarf too, but that is not all!

BB’s so festive, she’s ready to play

So you’ll have to find her everyday.

There’s only one rule, you must not forget it

Don’t skip it or shun it or you might regret it!

When you spot BB you give her a HUG

You squeeze her and keep her as snug as a bug in a rug.

Yes, Christmastime is the Season of Hope

It’s certainly no time to pout and to mope.

Imagine, you finding such a cute thing

and having to wait and just look at the bling.

Yeesh! That would be awful and terribly bad.

I just can’t believe in something so sad.

So people can keep their elf on the shelf

I’d rather have BB, her wonderful self.

Wouldn't you?, BB, BB in the Bucket, Advent,

Wouldn’t you?

So, there you have it!

Rumour has it that BB will have a sparkly red hat with a white glittery pompom this year.

No one knows for sure though.

We’ll just have to wait and see because as I said these things just happen.

How do you celebrate Advent?

Do you have a special ritual?

Do your kids enjoy the countdown to Christmas?

How do you spend the days leading up to the Holidays?

*I cleared this with the Things before posting it here. It’s late in the game, now, but this is something you could do at any time of year just for fun. Make stuff up, guys! It’s rad!

Permission

Yesterday Thing 2 was hanging out in my room with BB, reading to me, doing a bit of homework, and – after she finished that – watching Disney Channel Canada on our TV.

I was in and out doing things that need doing on a Saturday. You know. The typical things. Making meals, tidying up, putting away laundry, the usual.

At one point I popped in to check on my daughter to see if she needed anything and she was gone.

I found this on my desk.

notes remote control change the channel Things

So I wrote a reply.

change the world Things permission

Then I brought it to her.

Things message received smart girl wise kid world changer

I think she got the message.

I’ll keep reminding her though because apparently nagging mothers get decent results.

For the sake of the world, I hope so.