Yes, I took a 30 day sabbatical. For all of my adult life, I’ve been going full-throttle. School, work, parenting, more work, side work, fun work. You name it, I want to do it (and am determined to do it perfectly). It’s a blessing to love what you do, but sometimes it can also feel like a curse. Honestly, most days it feels like a tornado that ends with a migraine. (I bet some of you can relate.)
So, when the company I have been working for for the last seven years (The Grommet) announced a new policy that would give me the chance to take a 30 day paid sabbatical, I was equally excited and nervous. I’ve taken a week vacation before (still checking in here and there) but this was an entire new level. I wondered if I could do it. (I also tried negotiating working one day a week during it so I could still get stuff done, I know…pathetic). In the end I took an entire 30 days off.
I wanted to share a few things that I took away from this experience. From the planning process, to how I spent my time, to what I learned when I took a step back and let things
go … for thirty. whole. days.
The planning dilemma I was stressing over what to do with my time off (what a first-world problem to have, I know). But you see, I want everything to be just right. When in my life will I get another chance to take 30 days off? I ran through several ideas. My first thought was to quickly plan an international trip. Over the last two years we’ve traveled a lot (my favorite was to Maine last summer) but never outside of the US. However, my husband couldn’t get that much time off, and traveling with a family of four is pricey. I ran through other ideas like volunteering my time, finally getting that passion project going I’ve been thinking about for years, creating a ton of content for this blog, deep cleaning my house (yes this crossed my mind), and more. In the end my husband asked me what I wish I could do every summer. And my answer? “Fun stuff with my daughters.” I work from a home office and summers are HARD. When the kids are out of school they are always asking to go do fun things and I am always saying “no” because I’m working. I keep business hours so hitting the beach on a Wednesday isn’t something we can just go and do. I realized that I wanted to be able to do whatever they wanted, and just have some summer fun. (more…)
I have been compensated by ZonePerfect® for this post; however I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own. #Ad #ZonePerfectRevitalize
Summertime is supposed to be filled with warm, lazy days and fun cocktails, right? That’s not at all what I’m feeling at the moment. How about you friend? So far my first couple of weeks have been filled with rushing kids around to their activities, working long hours, and trying to pencil in on the calendar all of the fun things we want to do and all of the parties I want to host. Oh and writing content for my new DIY Marketing site. There just never seems to be enough time in the day (or the season!). Do you feel this way? Tell me I’m not alone.
I try to keep reminding myself that my mantra has always been “keep it simple.” I mean, the name of this blog does means a lot to me. Do you all have a tendency to overthink and over-plan? I’m totally guilty of this at times, but I’m working to keep myself focused and in check with how much I schedule and to better manage my expectations. Honestly, I think I need to cut myself a break once in awhile. We can put so much pressure on ourselves. I’m trying to stay focused on what’s important and what needs to get done.
One thing that’s helping me get through these long days is having the perfect snack always on hand. I discovered these ZonePerfect® Revitalize for Mental Focus bars recently in the lunchbox aisle at Target. And I have started keeping them on hand always! I have a couple in my desk drawer, in my purse, in my work bag. YUM. I’d keep them in my car but it’s like 115 out here and I’m certain they’d melt.
ZonePerfect Revitalize bars help me stay mentally sharp and focused throughout my busy day and the flavors make them taste like a delicious treat (hello Salted Carmel Latte, Strawberry Shortcake, and Hot Chocolate Marshmallow!) My current favorite is the Salted Carmel Latte and it even has 11g of protein. They also have green tea extract that has caffeine levels equivalent to a ½ cup of coffee and Choline which is a nutrient that supports brain health. They are the perfect snacking solutions for active and busy lifestyles. You can find out more about this product here.
What fun things do you have planned for the summer? Any entertaining plans in the works? I hope you’ll resist scheduling too much and remember that it’s okay to keep things simple. That’s really my main reason for creating this space. I want to encourage you that simple can be gorgeous, fun, and memorable. Pick a few elements for your party and do them well. The rest, can be basic. Honestly. Focusing on a few things rather than “everything” will help you feel less overwhelmed and hopefully bring you more joy. Whether that’s summer activities or details for your backyard dinner party.
If you want a little reminder, print out this sign and put it on your desk, or pin it up on your fridge. Cheers to staying focused, and getting it all done friends!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.
I spend a lot of my “free” time (late nights after work and after family time) crafting. But ironically, I also really always want to be sleeping. I know, the struggle right?! I find that the older I get, the more I truly value a good night’s sleep. But yet, I just can’t seem to let go of burning the midnight oil–I guess I still love DIY projects more. I recently made a few DIY sleep masks which seem to be the perfect representation of my current struggle–sleep vs. crafting.
I snooze with a sleep mask every night. It just makes me feel like I’m forced to shut my eyes and tune out the world around me. Plus, I’m one of those that wake up at the first crack of light so this totally helps. I take them with me when I travel as well and seem to always be loosing them (I bet there are dozens left in past hotel rooms, ha!). So I recently decided to DIY a few to keep on hand and of course I had to put a personal twist on them with some fun sayings.
They are pretty simple to make (you know I don’t like a ton of steps). I’ll share more in an upcoming post, but basically you just create an iron on transfer and apply it to a blank sleep mask. So easy!
Crafting is really a way to turn my creative juices on and have a little “me” time. Mostly happening late at night, but I also set aside one Sunday a month to tackle projects to share with you here. (Stay tuned for the DIY of these sleep masks coming this week!) I often get asked how I manage this blog and also work full time. Well, this is it. I just carve out time to be creative and get things done. No big secrets over here! Those all-day Sundays set aside for creating are really important to me because they allow me to create for the weeks ahead.
I kick those days off with a delicious carafe of coffee which keeps me going. I’m really enjoying Folgers Simply Gourmet coffee (I picked it up at Walmart). It’s made with natural flavors and I appreciate that it’s not overly sweet. I’m not a big creamer fan so having a hint of vanilla feels like such a treat.
Whether I’m enjoying some crafting time or just lounging in bed on the weekend, I love a warm cup of coffee to keep me company. Folgers Simple Gourmet also comes in Natural Cinnamon, Natural Chocolate, and Natural Caramel (you can see them, here). I think I’ll make it a goal to try all of the flavors :)
What does your “me” time look like? Are you a reader, a crafter, a binge watcher? Tell me in the comments!
Do you ever feel like you are in a perpetual state of juggling it all? Oh you know the drill: life, work, family + the 107 random things on your to-do list? This has been me lately but in the midst of it all I have decided to make a very conscious effort to hit that pause button, reflect, and recharge.
Let me tell you, it makes a difference. Taking 15 minutes each day to savor some calm-time to reflect on the day and plan out the next has made a huge positive impact on both by actual productivity and definitely on my spirits. Good bye stress and overwhelm (I’m going to do my best to keep this going!).
Hey friends! It’s been a nice long weekend off but it’s time to ‘get back at it.’ Before the work week is back in full swing I wanted to touch base with you all. I know I am often sharing pretty projects or new cocktail recipes but during the day I am firmly planted in the marketing world. I’m pretty sure it’s clear that I’m not a full-time blogger (if I was I’d be slacking, ha!). I’m the Director of Content and Community for The Grommet and have been a part of an awesome team there for the past five years. Before that, I worked freelance helping women grow their businesses through social media and online marketing. Building relationships to support small businesses and helping them grow is genuinely what gets me up in the morning (even if what keeps me going is the promise of an end-of-the-day cocktail hour!).
This time of year, the bridge between the Christmas craze and the impending New Year, is sort of odd —isn’t it? Typically I find myself in reflection of the previous year and feeling a bit melancholy about letting it go. Not this year. Personally, I say good riddance to 2014.
This year I have been walking around feeling like a poster child for all of those inspirational/therapeutic sayings on Pinterest. Yep, each one of these was “made for me!” (and I’m sure all of the other folks who pinned them too feel the same). But this phrase, is the one I played on repeat in my mind. All. Year. Long.
Instead of resolutions I could make a list of lessons learned. Lessons about others and definitely lessons about myself. Perhaps I’ll do that….and keep them in my pocket. Write down all the lessons I (unfortunately) learned the hard way. (Que the George Strait lyrics … “Baby, write this down, take a little note // To remind you in case you didn’t know).