Is It Time To Take A “Well Day”? {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ricola® but all thoughts are my own.)

I’m sitting here writing this after a long day which comes after an exhausting work week. This morning, we had Jacob’s Grand Prix race for Awana and then I spent the afternoon trying to get things done around the house while taking care of two rambunctious kids who have cabin fever. This evening I’ve been trying to empty out my email inbox (which after a couple of dedicated hours of work still has almost 20,000 emails- 2,000+ of which are unread). I love my kids and I love my life but some days (like today) I just really wish I could take a day to relax by myself. I’d even settle for a few kid-free, computer free, hours.

What would I do? I dream that I’d start the day by sleeping in and enjoying breakfast in bed. I’d go for a mani-pedi and then spend the afternoon on the couch catching up on my DVR’d shows. Sounds like the perfect relaxing day to me!

What about you? What would YOU do if you took a day to yourself? Ricola, the leading manufacturer of herb cough drops, wants to know and they have a special promotion going on where you could win money just by telling them!

As the cold and flu season hits its peak this month, Ricola is encouraging consumers to trade in their sick days for well days by inviting them to “Call in Well.” Now through January 31st, consumers can call 1-855-4-WELLDAY or text RICOLA (22122) to share what fun things they’d do if they took a “well day” off. One lucky winner per day will win $500. Visit Ricola’s Facebook page for official rules.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win Ricola products and a $25 Visa gift card

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me how you would spend your “well day”

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow @RicolaUSA on Twitter

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Subscribe to this blog via email

Giveaway ends February 10, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

National Mom’s Nite Out TONIGHT

Today, May 5, is National Moms Nite Out a day where mom’s can go out for the evening and not feel guilty {I even saw one site say that “even inmates get time off  for good behavior”}.

Simon Malls is hosting over 100 events at malls all over the United States tonight. You can see if your mall is listed here. To see some of the brands that are sponsoring the event and the list of blogging partners {including me!} you can view the list here.

Will you be attending an event at one of the malls or at another location? I’d love to hear about it!

Making Time For Mommy Monday (Week 4)

(If you’d like to be featured on Making  Time For Mommy Monday in the future, please email me at makingtimeformommy@hotmail.com)

Me (pre-kids)

Today I am going to be sharing a few ways that I make time for myself and would love for you to share in the comments below how you make time for “mommy” too!

1) In the early morning after the boys wake up I try to spend time doing my Bible reading and my devotions while they watch a short movie in their room.I would wake before the boys but their wake up time is usually around 5am so that’s just not possible for me at  this time. I lay in bed and read both the Bible and my devotional on my phone. On days I get to sleep in I spend part of naptime doing this but I  really like to do so in the morning before I get out of bed to start my day off right (see my post on Maximizing My Mornings for more info).

2) I paint my toenails every week. I literally put it on my to-do list once a week so I make sure to get it done. For some reason looking down at my painted toes makes me happy. I also try to start sandal-season with a pedicure.

3) I enjoy drinking iced mochas. I love Starbucks and McDonald’s Iced Mochas but more often than not I make my own at home. Any task is made more enjoyable if it’s accompanied with a sip of coffee!

4) I have a hobby I enjoy. You are reading the work of that hobby right now :)

5) I run errands solo. I love walking down every aisle at Target and not being rushed. This also means I get to explore every clearance endcap there is in the store which is something I like to do (even though I rarely end up buying anything anymore).

6) I talk to other moms. One of the most important things I have realized in the past couple of years is that I can’t do this thing called “motherhood” alone. I need to connect with other moms. Lately, this has been in the form of talking with moms via Twitter but I really need my in-real-life friends, too. Mom’s nights out are great as well. My goal at the beginning of the year was to go to at least one mom-only event per month. That hasn’t been possible but I am so excited to be going to one in a couple days and seeing my friends again!

***

What do you do to make time for yourself?

Making Time For Mommy Monday (Week 3)

Picture this: 2 screaming kids under the age of three running around the house from 7ish in the
morning till 8ish at night with a minimal break in the middle of the day from just one child. On
top of all this, a mom who is trying to run a successful business and keep order in the house
while juggling activities, grocery shopping, cleaning, vacuuming, dusting..

Do you see it? It can almost look chaotic. I live it every day so I'm pretty used to it.  Now the
question is where do I find time just for me. With kids this little in age, it's like being a magician
trying to fit in a little Mommy alone time. Each day, I make sure that I get a shower in, even if it's
1 or 2 in the afternoon.  

My husband and I also eat dinner together when he's not working late after the kids have gone to
sleep. The kids usually eat at 5 which is really early for us grownups so it's nice to be able to eat
whatever we want and not have to worry about cutting up food for someone else or clean up their
messes. It also allows us to decompress from the busyness of the day. 

I also DVR a lot of tv shows and watch them after the kids go to bed. It's my way of not having to
watch Olivia or Dora after 8pm. 

Another way that I make time for myself and this might seem a little counterproductive but I work on
my business (Living My MoMent). It brings me back into the adult world and allows me to interact
with people my own age and who have similar interests as me. Yes, I realize that working is not really
just mom time but I love what I do so much that it usually calms me down and brings me back to
reality. 

Being a work at home mom doesn't give me a whole lot of time to get out and get mani-pedi or
massages. I also have to work out from the comfort of my living room when I have time, but I'm
totally ok with all that. I cherish the time I have with my kids while they are little and know that I will
have plenty of me time from 8:30-3 every week day sooner than I hope.

Abbey Fatica is the owner and CEO of Living My MoMent. Created in April of 2009, Living My
MoMent is committed to being an affordable advertising agency for busy MoMs and DaDs owned
small businesses. Please visit us at Living My MoMent to see how Promoting YOUR MoMent is our
Passion, Purpose & Priority.

Twitter: @LivingMyMoMent
Facebook: Living My MoMent



Making Time For Mommy Monday (Week 2)

Today’s guest post is from Katie who shares how she makes time for mommy.

Be sure to read more about her at the bottom of this post!

***

Motherhood is exhausting. These days are filled with demands, pleasures, spills, adventure, tears, joy, failures, challenges, and (hopefully) naps.

As I stumble through motherhood I have found two practices that have breathed life into these long, tiring days of mothering.

1. Getting up early.

I am, by nature, a night-owl. I am most productive at night. With three kids, after bedtime seemed to be the only way to have an uninterrupted chunk of time to get anything done. Yet, after years of burning the night oil, something just didn’t sit well with me about how my days started. Most mornings the first words my kids would hear from me is “go back to bed” or on really bad mornings “leave me alone!” I hate that.

For years I had tried (unsuccessfully) to get up early before the kids. But, over time I had realized that the only way for me to really prepare for my day would be to get up early EVERY DAY. I really do LOVE being up before my kids now. It gives me a chance to get a few essential chores done, journal, study my Bible, and pray for my children. It takes some sacrifices and an earlier bedtime, but the rewards of this have been many. I love being able to hear their little footsteps down the hall, greet them with a “good morning!” laden with hugs and kisses, and start our day together on a positive note with a prepared mommy.

If you are interested, there is a challenge that just started, to Maximize Your Mornings this winter. There are hundreds of women saying “Hello Mornings!” together.

2. Regular time away.

I have the best husband EVER. Since Sunday is a work day for him, he gets Fridays off. He lets me get out of the house on Fridays. I go to a local restaurant and sit. I study my Bible, journal, read a book, blog, write thank-you notes, and do a bit of planning for the week; UNINTERRUPTED.

I love this time.

I come home refreshed, and ready for another week of whatever comes my way. The days differ in time, depending on the week. Sometimes it may only be for an hour, some I stay out most of the day. You can read here a bit about how I started this practice. There are other ways you can get away. You can start weekly or monthly, pick an evening to get away, enlist family members to help out, or even a kid-swap with another mom where you could take turns watching all the kids while the other gets away.

At the core of both of these practices is my relationship with God. I believe a relationship with God is the most important thing that you can pursue with your time. Motherhood is hard. God has strength to give to us as we attempt to care for our children. He knows our days. He sees us in our struggles, and he is an ever-present help. You can learn more about a relationship with God here. I firmly believe that it is through God alone we receive the refreshment we truly need.

***

Pastor’s wife and mother of three, Katie Orr loves to teach God’s Word. Longing to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime, Katie has taught small group Bible studies for over thirteen years. She served on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for seven years before God called their family to pastoral ministry. She blogs about life at www.katieorrblog.com and is the creator of www.donotdepart.com, where you can receive encouragement and tools to abide in God’s Word.

Find her on Twitter: @KatieOrr22

Making Time For Mommy Monday (Week 1)

Today’s featured mom is Emily who blogs at The Joyner Family and can be found on Twitter @joyneremily.

Here’s how she “makes time for mommy”:

As a current mom of one–with only a couple weeks until I’m a mom of two–it’s easy to completely laugh at the idea of “me” time. However, I know it’s important, and for each mom, “me” time could mean something different.

I absolutely love driving to and from work each morning. After I drop my daughter off at her babysitter’s house, some days I blast s the radio to sing and dance, other days I drive in peace and quiet to think and pray. I sometimes use that time to catch up on phone calls with friends. No matter what I do, that is time for me!

After my little one goes to bed for the night and the kitchen’s clean from dinner, sometimes I sit with my husband to watch TV or I head upstairs to read or watch my own shows. Regardless, almost every evening I have a good 30 minutes of relaxation time before my head hits the pillow. It’s amazing how wonderful that time can be!

I would love to see how other mommies spend find ways to make time for themselves!

*****

Would you like to be featured here? Email me at MakingTimeForMommy@hotmail.com :)

Making Time For Mommy Monday

One of my New Year’s goals is to include more “life” and “mom” related posts on my blog. I will be starting a new feature on Mondays called “Making Time For Mommy Monday” where I will feature ways that moms make time for themselves.

One great part of this is that it’s not only going to be for mom’s who blog. Any mom can be featured who would like to share how they make time for themselves. This feature will start next Monday.

You can contribute a story, make a list, share a picture… however you would like to share works for me.

To be featured on “Making Time For Mommy Monday” please email me at: MakingTimeForMommy@hotmail.com. Please be sure to include your name (first name only) and, if you are a blogger, any links back to your site. If you have a Twitter or Facebook page you’d like to include as well please do so.

I’m so excited to start this series and ready to be inspired by you all! :)

BLOGMANIA!!!

What is Blogmania? 170 blogs each offering giveaways worth $100 or more from Sept. 15, 2010 at 12:01 am – 12:00am (EST) Sept. 17, 2010. You do NOT have to be a blogger to enter to win (you never do)! Good luck :)

Making Time For Mommy (1 person wins all!):

*Tempur-Pedic All-Purpose Pillow (ERV- $50)

*Rembrandt 2 Hour Whitening Kit (ERV- $20)

*Johnson’s Natural Body Lotion (ERV- $4)

*Softlips lip butter, lip gloss, and lip tint (ERV- $13)

*Schick Intuition Plus Razor (ERV- $10)

*Dove Ultimate Deodorant (ERV- $4)

*Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler (ERV- $40)

*Align Digestive Care Probiotic Supplement (ERV- $30)

*Paris Hilton Tease Perfume .25 Ounce Bottle (ERV- $10)

*What The Yuck?! The Freaky & Fabulous Truth About Your Body book (ERV- $20)

How To Enter (leave a comment for each):

1. Follow me on Twitter (@aliciamarie112)

2. Tweet: “I just entered to win a $200 prize pack from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com #giveaway “

3. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy through email or RSS (links in upper right hand corner of blog in sidebar)

5. Enter another giveaway on my blog (let me know which one you entered)

6. Write a note about this giveaway on Facebook or a blog post and include link to this post (leave url in comment)

*****

Rules: Giveaway ends on September 17th at 12am EST. Must be at least 18 and have a postal address in the US.

(Disclosure: All items that I am giving away came from the BlogHer conference I attended in August. A big thank you to all the companies that were there.)

*****

Want to see the other bloggers participating? Check out this list! Good luck :)



Top 10 Things I’d Love For Mothers Day

I decided to make a list of the top 10 things I would LOVE for Mother’s Day just in case a special someone is reading this! :)

1. Sleep- I would love to sleep in. I’m not asking to sleep the day away but sleeping until at least 7am would be fantastic.

2. Hugs and Kisses- If you remember… one of my favorite things about being a mom is all the hugs and kisses I get from my children.

3. Starbucks Iced Mocha- Wouldn’t it be lovely if my boys woke me up with one of those? yum. I’m not asking for a homemade breakfast, just a quick trip to Starbucks would be plenty to fill my tummy (though I would not be upset if you decided to go the eggs, bacon, and french toast route, too).

4. Flowers- I don’t need a big bouquet of roses but I would love some flowers. My favorite would be ones picked with love from our yard (I’d even take some dandelions).

5. Homemade card- Yeah, Hallmark cards are nice but my son’s coloring is even prettier. (You could even earn some brownie points by helping Jacob write some words on it like “I have the best mom ever” or “my mom is the prettiest woman I have ever seen”)

6. Clean house- After I finally roll myself out of bed I would love to leave my bedroom and discover a clean house. Not lick-the-floors-clean but you-won’t-step-on-anything-clean would be wonderful!

7. Family time- After we go to Church I would love to go on a family walk or take the boys to the playground. We could even go somewhere else just as long as we can do it together.

8. “Me” time- I would love to get a pedicure while the boys are napping and then enjoy some time on the computer.

9. Date night- After the boys go to bed it would be great to enjoy dinner and a movie at home.

10. Ice cream and devotions- My “perfect” Mother’s Day would end with devotions as a couple while we eat ice cream (chocolate, peanut butter for me and pistacchio for Sinisa).

So that’s my ideal Mother’s Day….

How do you imagine yours?

My main goals for 2010

I am very excited to start this new year. I’m looking forward to my best year ever! (ok, I keep hearing that from everyone but it’s true!) I’m a very goal-oriented person so I always keep a goal list that I update a few times a year. Kind of like my bucket list , I guess. Since I have hundreds of goals on that list I decided to focus on a select number of them in 2010.

Goal #1- Read the whole Bible in 90 days. To find out more about this program you can go here or here. This challenge is listed first because it starts today. I am very excited to do this but am also nervous because it is a big task. I’ve never read the Bible all the way through, let alone in 90 days. I think it is an achievable goal this year because of two main things: 1) I’m doing it with other moms who will hold me accountable and 2) it’s only about 12 pages a day! Wow. Reading the Bible had always seemed like such a huge task and I would have guessed it would take 30-40 pages a day to read it in just 90 days, but 12? That’s easy. Ok, well maybe not easy, but manageable with two kids and a career. (Update: My sister just read the first day’s reading as I was typing this post and it took her less than 20 minutes…)

Goal #2- Save half of our income. This will probably be the hardest goal that I have set for myself. I have always been a “shopaholic” who can’t resist a good “deal” (check out my dad’s blog post about me) but I have decided that is going to change this year. Part of why we moved in with my dad was to save for a house and in the past six months we have only saved about $500. In my defense we did have to fix our two cars, but in reality we had an extra income these past few months so those repairs should have come from that. I am still working on a budget and hoping there is some spending money but if not I will just have to learn to live with less.

Goal #3- Keep my house “company ready” (though really it needs to get to that point before I can keep it there). It doesn’t have to be spotless but it would be nice to know that if someone happened to stop by my home I wouldn’t be embarrassed to let them in the door. And it would be even better if they could look in my closets, cupboards, etc and they would be organized, too. The first step towards this goal is to finish unpacking from our August move. Our two car garage is so filled with boxes that only one car can barely fit in. Eventually I would like to have a weekly cleaning list, too.

Goal #4- Work on my relationships. With Sinisa I would like to make couple time a priority since it’s rare we are both home without the boys being awake. With my mom I would like to work on communication. With my friends I would like to focus on seeing them once a week whether it’s at playdates or mom’s nights.

Goal #5- Become a “better” blogger. This includes blogging more often than I have in the past (I am aiming for 3-5 times a week), building relationships with other bloggers, reading and commenting on other blogs, and looking into how I can improve the look of my blog.

Goal #6- Do something for myself daily. This “something” could be as little as taking a nice, hot relaxing shower to getting a pedicure to scrapbooking. Just a daily thing to remind myself that I am special :)

What are your goals for 2010?

“Me” Time? What’s that??

So I had been looking forward to this Sunday/Monday for about a week or so. I was dropping Jacob off at my MIL’s on Sunday morning and then getting some things done around the house and running some errands. That I wasn’t looking forward to but Monday’s “to-do’s” were a lot more exciting. It was supposed to be a “me” day. First, I was going to get a haircut. A real haircut. Not the $10 bargain one I normally get. Afterwards I was going to come home and spend the day doing things that were enjoyable. I was not going to clean. I was not going to to laundry. I was not going to even think about doing those things or guilt myself into doing them. What a great day it would have been but life decided to “happen” so I had to cancel my “me” time.

It all started this morning with my MIL calling and saying she needed me to come at 1pm, not 11am. Ok, 2 hours. I can deal with that. So I decided to go over to my brother’s house to spend time with my SIL and my nephew. I couldn’t take Jacob to Church because he was still sick and we had the time since Jacob is on a “45 minutes is long enough for me to nap now” kick. While over there I was talking about maternity clothes and how I was going to buy a few things for myself. I told her I needed new jeans because the ones I was wearing (my go-to, great with gym shoes and flip flop jeans) were about to get a hole in the thigh area. While saying this I looked down and discovered that they weren’t about to get a hole, they already had one. Great. I knew they wouldn’t last another wash cycle so I added “go to store” on my to-do list for the day.

So we leave my SIL’s after Jacob and his cousin had lots of time to play together, or should I say around each other. I dropped Jacob off at my MIL’s and then went to the store. I had to pick up Jacob’s pictures anyways so I figured I’d go to JcPenney’s. After trying on about 25 bras (in three different sizes), some jeans, and a few shirts I left the store with a couple pairs of jeans. Then I thought that I might as well go to Motherhood Maternity and see if they had any bras that fit me and were comfortable. After trying on some different ones and not finding anything that worked, the lady at the store convinced me to let her take my measurements (cross that off my list). She came up with the same size that I had already been trying on. She found me some different styles to try on and I found a few that worked. I ended up leaving with five bras (2 sleeping and 3 regular) and was quite happy with my shopping day. Before I left I picked up the prints of Jacob from the photography studio and laughed again when I saw my son’s St. Patty’s day picture (the only picture I have of him crying his eyes out).

On my way home I mentally went through my to-do list and added up how much time I’d need to do each task. I figured the “make crib rail covers” would take a while so I knew most likely I’d have to use some of my “me” day to make that for Jacob. When I got home I had something unexpected happen and, long story short, ended up spending most of the evening in bed and sitting on the computer not wanting to do anything.

So basically I told you all that to get to the point that I now have to use my “me” day to do everything that didn’t get done today. I have to: dust, vacuum, organize kitchen cabinets, do laundry, clean Jake’s room, go to Walgreens, start the crib rail covers, clean the kitchen, and sanitize the rest of Jacob’s toys. Maybe if I’m lucky I can get a “me” hour in at the end of the day. Or maybe I’ll just want to crawl into bed. We’ll see….

August 9, 2008

At 4:45am I was awake with Jacob and desperately wanting to crawl back into bed. At around 6 I was not just wanting to return to bed; I was wanting to stay there. By that time Jacob had fallen asleep and woken up about four times and each time he had done so after I returned to bed. The day seemed to improve when I actually was able to rest for a couple more hours. I then enjoyed playing with Jacob. We sang and danced, played with toys, and looked at all the colors on his mobile while it spun around. He also enjoyed time in his swing. Aunt Jennifer came over to spend time with mommy and Jacob. Then everyone went to Starbucks to meet Grandma Kelly. Jacob slept at the beginning but then woke up just in time to see mommy spill coffee all over. He was not very happy that he had to wait to eat while everyone cleaned coffee off themselves. After that Jacob went to stay with his grandma. Mommy and Auntie then got to spend some time “baby free” and remembered what it felt like to be “women” instead of “moms”. We started off getting pedicures (my treat for Jen’s birthday). It was so nice to be pampered. We then went to Subway to eat and Walgreens to pick up some essentials (and some things that were on clearance). After saying goodbye to Jennifer I walked up to my apartment and was thankful that I didn’t have to lug a heavy carseat and diaper bag up the stair with me (three flights of them!) I then wrote a list of tasks that I wanted to get accomplished this evening and set about doing them. I’m going to brag a little because I am so proud of myself… In three hours I managed to: do four loads of laundry, clean my closet, put clothes away, do a load of dishes, wash a sinkful of bottles, read all blogs in my RSS reader, e-mail three people, update facebook, go through some junk mail, read three chapters in the Bible, put away everything I bought at Walgreens, and read a chapter of the Nora Roberts’ book I am reading. I love when I set goals for myself and meet them. Tomorrow I hope to: write the rest of my thank you’s and birth announcements, wash two loads of towels, vacuum my apartment, dye my hair (brown this time), cleanout my e-mail inbox, go to the gym, visit family, and setup my scrapbook area. A lot to do but hopefully I will get a majority of it done before I pick up my son at two. Now I am off to spend time with my fabulous fiance and enjoy a night alone… reminds me of when we were dating :)

Today’s challenge: Do something nice for yourself- get a manicure, buy the shirt you have been wanting, spend some time outside in the sun… whatever it is that YOU want to do! Enjoy your Sunday.