The Gift Of Sight

Thanks to Visionworks for sponsoring this post and giving me the gift of sight.

Back in August I worked with Visionworks to promote back to school eye exams and took Lucas for an annual eye exam there. He didn’t need any glasses but I confirmed my suspicions about my own vision problems when I couldn’t read the letters that he was being asked to read aloud during the vision test. Not only did I have difficulty seeing things far away but I had started to get headaches while working on my computer or reading. I knew it was time that I did something about my sight so, as I left, I promised them that I would “see them soon”.

But I didn’t “see them soon”.

Though I’d had plans to call that following week to set an appointment up for myself I didn’t because I’d gotten busy. I was busy with back-to-school prep and then busy with the chaos that those first few weeks of school brought. Then I was busy juggling fall sports practices and games and before I knew it, it was Halloween time, and there were school activities and community activities and I was too busy. I’m sure you can guess what happened next as November came….the holiday prep was starting and I surely didn’t have time over the holidays to go! I had gifts to buy and menus to plan and holiday events to prepare for. I was TOO BUSY. Too busy to find the time to get an eye exam so I could see properly. Can you all believe that?

This is the problem for many of us moms, I think. We tell ourselves that we don’t have time when it comes to our needs and wants. Had it been my child who was saying he couldn’t see you all know that kid would have had an appointment that very next day because being able to see is important! Why was I putting off this important task just because it was for myself? Moms, we have to stop doing this. We need to prioritize ourselves, especially when it comes to our health and well-being!

I am so embarrased to say that I probably would have waited until the new year to make an appointment had I not received a note from the Visionworks folks wishing me a happy holidays. That was the reminder I needed to make myself an appointment. Yes, it is the busy holiday season but I was tired of the headaches and tired of not being able to see very well. I was going to do something for myself. (And another reason to schedule that appointment asap? You want to use those vision benefits before the end of the year! Visit your local Visionworks for an annual eye exam and pair of glasses before your FSA dollars or vision benefits go to waste.)

So I made myself an appointment for later that week and headed in. I told the eye doctor that driving at night was difficult because the headlights of the uncoming traffic bothered me and I told her that I had difficulty seeing things far away. She did all her testing and, sure enough, I neeeded glasses. Though my left eye had pretty perfect vision, my right eye did not and she found that I had Astigmatism. She said this was probably the cause of why night driving was hard for me and said that basically the astigmatism made light “burst”.

After the eye doctor figured out what prescription lenses I need it was time for me to pick out the frames. There was such a great selection at Visionworks but I chose a large pair of blueish-purple colored frames that were the complete opposite of something my typical plain, neutral colored loving self would choose. A few days later my glasses were ready and I headed back in to pick them up. When I put them on my face it was amazing the difference I saw. Everything went from blurry to clear. I knew I had difficulty seeing far away but I had no idea that I’d been walking around with a view of the world like this. How had I not realized that I wasn’t seeing clearly? All of a sudden my headaches made sense. I was trying to read slightly blurry text for hours a day and, while I was able to read it all, it must have been putting a lot of stress on my eyes without me realizing it.

If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while I encourage you to make an appointment right now. Yes, I know it’s Christmas Eve tomorrow and you are busy with all the holiday preparation, but make an appointment to go to your local Visionworks next week when things have calmed down and you need to get out of the house to escape the winter break craziness (trust me…you’ll thank me later….) Plus, remember that most vision plan and HSA benefits will expire December 31st so you want to use the benefits before you lose them.

The gift of sight is such a blessing and I really hope that you’ll give that gift to yourself this holiday season!

The Busy Mom’s Guide To Relaxation

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

As a busy mom it can be hard to find time to relax. Between my kids, home responsibilities, work and everything else, sometimes doing something for myself seems like just another task on my ever growing to-do list. Usually I just sit in front of the television in the evening because I’m so exhausted but I’ve really been trying to spend a bit of time relaxing each day (my blog is called Making Time For Mommy after all…)

Today I want to share tips to help you relax. If you can carve out 30 minutes to an hour (or more) of time, I promise you won’t regret it! These tips are inspired by the fun ‘Busy Gal’s Bliss’ box I was sent by BabbleBoxx!

First thing you need to do? Turn off the electronics. I know it’s hard. I’m not judging anyone because I’d be embarrassed to share how much time I spend using electronics every day. It’s too much! I do know though, that as many great benefits as technology brings it also brings some not so great things, like stress. Disconnecting is important.

If your eyes hurt from staring at a screen all day or because of seasonal irritants, you may also want to use some eye drops, like Clear Eyes Pure Relief® Multi-Symptom. The unique formula of these preservative free eye drops is designed to relieve red, burning, itchy, dry, irritated, gritty or watery eyes and deliver up to 12 hours of soothing comfort. (Download a $3 coupon here.)

Next, write your to-do list for the next day. Don’t skip this step or you’ll be spending the whole evening thinking about everything you need to do. Writing everything down on paper will let you put it out of your mind for a bit so you can really relax.

The thing I find most relaxing is a warm bubble bath. If you don’t have a tub then a hot shower works, too. Taking your bath or shower in the evening, after the kids are sleeping, means you can enjoy it without little hands knocking on the door or feeling you need to rush through it.

Once you have taken a bath or shower, spend a little time on your beauty routine. First, use a kit like this one from Bloom Mineral Beauty (save with code ‘skin25’). I love the Shielding Eye Cream in the kit. It’s a natural and unique formula made with vitamin E fruit extracts and Dead Sea minerals that helps to control visible signs of aging, as well as tired signs around the eyes. As I’m getting older this is needed!

Also, warm weather means shorts so if you want smooth legs without the pain of waxing or the hassle of shaving, you’ll want to spend a bit of time using Nad’s new product- Nad’s Sensitive Hair Removal Cream. It’s designed for painless hair removal in as little as 4 minutes. Formulated with natural extracts of Melon, Aloe Vera, Avocado Oil and Honey to help soothe and protect sensitive skin, it has a pleasant smell while targeting the hair shaft for effective removal of unwanted hair.

The next thing you’ll want to do is put on something comfortable. Personally I can’t relax if I’m not wearing comfy clothes. I used to always think that I couldn’t be comfortable until I’d taken my bra off before bed but then I discovered the Coobie bralette. Made of soft, stretchy lace with adjustable straps, these bralettes are ultra comfortable and perfect for the warmer weather! The cups are lined with a soft, thin nylon blend that provides comfortable coverage without the bulk and no pads or wires. It’s perfect for every day wear or when you want to put on a little something pretty in the evenings. (I also love that they come in 3 sizes, Small (28A-32D), Medium (32A-34D), Large (36A-38D) so they fit most women.)

Lastly, you’ll want to spend some time doing something quiet, whether that’s journaling, reading, meditating, yoga, coloring or something else you find enjoyable and calming.

What tips do you have for fitting relaxation time in to your busy schedule?

 

50 Ways Moms Can Enjoy “Me” Time

With Mother’s Day coming up I hope many of you will have a day of rest and relaxation. One day is not enough time to have to yourself so I wanted to encourage all of you to make time for yourself daily and encourage your friends to do the same. Whether it’s something small you do for yourself at home or you go out, it’s so important to focus on yourself for a bit of time each day. Since my mind tends to go blank and I always end up just watching television during my “me” time, I wanted to share 50 ways you can make time for yourself and do something just for you!

1) Write

2) Paint a picture

3) Go shopping

4) Take a bubble bath

5) Learn a new language

6) Take a nap

7) Get a pedicure

8) Read a book

9) Craft something

10) Have a spa day at home

11) Flip through a magazine

12) Bake something

13) Give yourself a manicure

14) Go out for dinner with a friend

15) Journal

16) Take an art class

17) Get a massage

18) Volunteer

19) Relax outside

20) Pet an animal at a pet store or animal shelter

21) Enjoy your coffee or tea while it’s still hot

22) Go to bed early

23) Wake up early and enjoy quiet time

24) Go for a walk

25) Talk with a friend on the phone

26) Watch a movie

27) Go out for a drink with girlfriends

28) Workout

29) Sit at a coffee shop and people watch

30) Daydream

31) Make a fancy lunch for yourself

32) Watch an old favorite television show

33) Relax in front of the fireplace

34) Explore the internet- whether it’s Pinterest or blogs

35) Cheer on your favorite sports team

36) Do yoga

37) Dance

38) Start a hobby

39) Listen to music and sing along

40) Enjoy a special dinner you’ve been craving

41) Go on a roadtrip

42) Eat a chocolate bar without sharing

43) Color

44) Complete a puzzle

45) Get a facial

46) Go out for brunch

47) Grow something

48) Go out for drinks with friends

49) Plan a vacation

50) Pick flowers and make a bouquet

Motherhood: The Toughest (But Most Rewarding) Job

Thanks to Teleflora for sponsoring this post.

I have held numerous jobs in my thirty two years of life but none of them has been as rewarding, or as difficult, as this one called motherhood. This job, where my bosses pay in hugs and kisses and my job description consists of chauffeur and bedtime story reader, is not as easy as I thought it was going to be when I dreamed about it growing up.

I underestimated the number of times I’d be woken up in the middle of the night, the frustrating meetings I’d have to sit in to advocate for my children’s educational special needs to be met, the amount of dirty diapers I’d change, and the number of sports games I’d sit through where a blanket and winter jacket couldn’t help protect me from the chilling cold. All that aside though, it’s my favorite job I’ve ever been privileged to have.

Teleflora recently came out with a new video that I love called “One Tough Mother”. They realize that motherhood isn’t always hearts and roses but believe that Mother’s Day can be with a bouquet from Teleflora.

Gifting a beautiful flower bouquet is the perfect way to say thank you to moms near and far for all the love, hard work, sacrifice, patience, fun, intelligence, and compassion they bring to their children’s live each and every day. I agree because fresh flowers are one of my favorite gifts to receive for any occasion!

I was sent a Luxurious Lavender Bouquet (available on Teleflora.com for $109.95). Arriving in a sculpted lavender glass vase from a local florist, it was full of dark pink roses, purple carnations and fragrant lilies. It made my home smell amazing and brought a pop of color to the room.

Teleflora has a number of other bouquets you can send the special mom in your life. You can see them all here. Which one is your favorite?

Free To Play Without Worries

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #allfreeclear #CollectiveBias

With two boys I always have tons of laundry but during Spring and Summer they seem to make double or even triple the normal amount of dirty clothes. Last week started baseball and soccer season which means we are outdoors almost every day of the week now and I’m noticing the pile start to grow already. Between sweaty clothes and sports uniforms they go through multiple outfits a day. On days they have swim lessons add some wet clothes, bathing suits and more towels. Muddy practice fields? More dirty clothes. I already feel behind on laundry constantly (that’s motherhood right?) so if this pile gets much larger I may not be able to find my kids anymore lol.

With lots of laundry I’m sure you all can imagine that the last thing I want is to have to wash the laundry a few times just to get the mud and grass stains out. Honestly, I used to stress out every time it was muddy because I didn’t want to worry about having to get tough stains out of their pants. As much as I wanted to be the carefree mom encouraging the boys to slide to home base, go after the soccer ball with all their might, or make that tackle in football, I couldn’t stop thinking about how dirty they would be after practice or a game. Their baseball pant stains are the worst because they are light gray and hard to keep clean. (Obviously a mom did not make that selection!)

Not only did I worry about their clothes on the field but I learned I needed to relax a bit when they were crawling around in the grass, too. There is not a day Lucas comes home from school with clean jeans. His pants always have dirt or grass stains on the knees.

It’s okay though because I discovered a secret product that fights tough stains for me- all® free clear detergent! I know that my laundry detergent delivers a powerful clean and will make their clothes look as good as new once washed. So I let my boys wrestle in the grass and play in the muddy fields because they are only young once. These times of mom letting them enjoy messy play will be special memories they will carry with them to adulthood and hopefully a tradition they will carry on with their own kids.

Is it time for you to let your kids be kids? If you still have reservations I understand but let me help ease your worries…. First, head to the store and stock up on some good detergent. I like all® free clear detergent because it is the #1 recommended brand by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for sensitive skin. It’s hypoallergenic and clinically proven to be gentle on skin which is important to me because Lucas especially develops skin rashes really easily. I’d suggest going to Sam’s Club and getting the bulk container of all® free clear Mighty Pacs® because you are going to want enough to last all season long! I follow the directions on the label and use one pack for normal washes and two packs for heavily soiled washes (you’ll want to make sure you don’t use too much in a load).

Once you have your detergent give it a try and take your kids outside for an afternoon. Every time you want to yell “watch that puddle!” or “stay out of the mud!” just take a deep breathe and take a photo of the fun your kids are having. Better yet? Join them! You’ll be so busy having fun that the laundry will be the last thing on your mind!

So will you join me in letting go of the stress and embracing the freedom to be the mother you always dreamed of becoming? The one that lets kids get messy and have fun without worrying about the dirty clothes pile? I hope so! To further inspire you I encourage you to read stories from other parents here.

Free Kindle Book: Hope For The Weary Mom

{I have to start this post off by saying that if you don’t have a Kindle but you have an Android Smartphone you can still download this book! I have had an Android for a while now and just realized tonight that I can download a free app called “Kindle For Android” and access Kindle books that way even though I don’t have a Kindle! Yay!}

The Kindle edition of Hope For The Weary Mom: Where God Meets You In Your Mess {the expanded edition} is available for free today {10/23} and tomorrow {10/24} before it goes up to it’s regular price of $4.99. The book has all five star ratings on Amazon and good reviews from other readers. .

Enjoy! :)

Just a Bit of Perspective…

A few hours ago I was fed up. I had declared this day to be “one of my worst mommy days ever” and was literally ready for it to be tomorrow. Ok, so sometimes I can be a little dramatic… I’m sure I have had worse days but this day was seriously horrible.

A little background: Both my children have bronchitis which meant I was tired from being up a lot the night before cleaning out noses. It also meant the boys were extremely cranky because they were not feeling well. On top of this I think they gave me some of their sick germs because I was was congested and feeling a head cold coming on.

Since it was the weekend most of you moms out there would assume that I probably had help. Nope, not the case. Daddy was working which meant I was home alone. I was dealing with things up until that point but then I got a call from Sinisa that he was working 5 hours longer than he was originally scheduled to. This is when I lost it and demanded that he tell his boss no he couldn’t work overtime because he needed to go home to his family. Oh. Yes. I. Did. Long story short he stayed at work and when he came home I was in a better mood.

Why?

BECAUSE I PUT THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE…

Sinisa was working all day BUT at least he has a job.

My kids are sick BUT at least they are home and not sick enough they had to be hospitalized.

Lucas didn’t want to take his medicine BUT at least we had insurance to pay for the medicine.

Jacob wiped snot all over me continuously BUT at least we had tissues he could have used.

Lucas spit carrots in my face BUT at least I had a sense of humor.

Jacob was cranky BUT at least he has toys to play with and TV to take his mind off of being sick.

Lucas had major diarrhea BUT at least I have other diapers and clothes to put him in.

Jacob dumped two bowls full of food on the ground BUT at least he has food to eat.

Lucas cried a lot BUT at least he can vocalize his feelings.

As for me-

I’m tired BUT at least I have a warm bed to crawl into.

I have a messy house BUT at least I have a roof over my head.

I have a huge to-do list BUT at least I have opportunities for future personal growth.

I was frustrated BUT at least I have friends to talk to that reassure me that things will get better.

I had a hard day BUT at least I am alive and have a family to complain about.

AND I have an awesome little sister who, as I type, is making homemade cookies *and she even offered to let me lick the spoon*. Chocolate cookies make everything a little better, don’t ya think? :)