A No-Fuss Mother’s Day Gift Guide

image of flowers in a jar

Since I became a mother, getting gifts on Mother’s Day wasn’t something I looked forward too. To be honest, I usually forget when it is. But, my husband usually remembers and tries to get me something to surprise me.

I love things that I can use, things that have a purpose and things that won’t just sit around collecting dust. So, I wanted to put together a little gift guide for mothers who love to be surprised but would like things that will be used rather than not.

A No-Fuss Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Gifts don’t need to be expensive or extravagant to be beautiful and completely loved. Mother’s Day gifts can be simple, beautiful and unique or handmade.

All it takes is a little thought and a whole lot of love to come up with the perfect gift for your mother or wife.

My Little List of 10 Mother’s Day Gifts

#1 Gift Her Some Herbal Oil

image of a bottle of oil laying next to herbs

You can either purchase this online from Etsy or you can create your own. If you want to create your own you’ll need an herb that you want to infuse and some oil. Usually, olive oil is a good choice as it offers some resistance to oxidation and rancidity. Others you can use are jojoba oil, coconut, grapeseed, almond, and apricot along with many others.

There are two methods that I’ve used for making herbal oils:

  1. Stovetop Method – Put the herbs in a jar along with your oil of choice. Place the jar in a pot and fill ¼ full of water, simmer for 4-8 hours. Carefully remove the jar from the pot and allow to cool. Drain the herb, put it in a bottle, fix a label, and store in a cool dark place.
  2. Sitting Method – For this one, basically, I put the herbs in the jar with oil of choice and I let it sit for about two weeks. If you can set it near a heat source or even on a hot pad on your stovetop that would help it infuse faster.

Obviously, as of right now, the stovetop method would be the fastest. But, you’re more than welcome to choose the second option too.

#2 Herbal Classes

Learning about herbs is an amazing gift that you can give someone. Herbs can be used in cooking and you can use them for healing as well. But, what most people don’t realize is that culinary herbs are also really amazing medicinal herbs. That’s why I choose to dive deeper into the world of herbs.

My husband bought me an herbal course for Christmas and I am absolutely in love with it. The one he allowed me to choose was from The Herbal Academy. Their platform is so beautiful and it’s laid out in a way that makes learning so easy.

The course I purchased from them was their Entrepreneurial track. With this course, it helps to set you up to create different things to sell. I hope to help out more around here by mixing different teas, salves, tinctures and more to sell through Etsy and by sharing in my community.

Related Post: How to Survive Motherhood & Keep Your Sanity

#3 A Beautiful Flower Arrangement

image of flowers in a jar

I love a good flower arrangement. What’s even more sweet is when my husband and children come home from taking a walk and bring me in some wildflowers they’ve picked :). Consider walking around your area and bringing home a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

#4 No Cooking Day

image of honey being drizzled on pancakes

A woman’s dream come true! Ok, maybe not always if they love to cook as much as I do. But, having breakfast in bed (or at least made for me) is a wonderful gift. My husband is a pretty great cook so it’s nice when he cooks breakfast or offers to cook supper. He’s made this amazing rack of lamb and now I have him make it every time we buy lamb.

Think about her favorite recipe and give her a yummy treat by making it for her.

#5 Kids Painted Cards

image of a little boy holding a painted paper plate

My kids love to paint! I’m sure other kids out there love to paint as well.

Give them some paper and some paint and tell them you’re making a gift for mommy. Let their little minds create the most beautiful scene they can think of without being overly critical. It’s their gift after all.

To make it even better, sit down and paint one with them and make it a group effort!

Related Post: A Family of 4: Journey to Frugal Living

#6 Lovely Candle Lit Bath

image of a candle by a bath and a bath bomb

Mmm, nothing says relaxation more than a candlelit bath.

Just be careful when placing the candles so they’re not in a place that they can tip over on mom! Or, a curtain for that matter. Wouldn’t want the house to catch fire on Mother’s Day -_-.

If you want to make it extra special you can get a few roses and put the petals on the bath for her to take a luxurious rose petal bath. If not roses, then any of her favorite flowers would be wonderful. Take the stems off right at the base and let them all float around creating a relaxing bath filled with a sweet aroma.

#7 A Picnic in the Yard

If the weather is nice, choose to go for a walk to a lovely area for a picnic. Don’t make too much fuss over the food. Quality time together is what matters the most. And, spending time sitting in a nice breeze with family is a wonderful treat.

Sometimes it’s nice to slow down and just be with family without having to think about the next meal or who needs what.

Related Post: How to Live in an RV Without Feeling Cramped

#8 Nature Walk to Pick Blackberries or Other Foragable Items

image of a little boy showing his blackberries

Foraging for blackberries and wild edibles is one of our most favorite past times. We will go foraging for blackberries and then come home to make a blackberry cobbler or some sort of treat.

If you’re in an area where you have blackberries or another edible you can forage I encourage you to go out and do that. It’s really fun when you can see just how much you’re able to find to bring home.

My husband finds persimmons a lot around here and loves them.

#9 Flower or Herbal Bath bombs

image of herbal bath bombs

These little things are amazing! You can find wonderful creations on Etsy with some of the sweetest scents. It would be a wonderful addition to the flower & candlelit bath for her.

Here is a little set I’ve tried and I really enjoyed them.

If you want to make them yourself then here’s a post by Mountain Rose Herbs with instructions for making them if you want to give it a shot!

Related Post: Top RV Homestead Kitchen Items You Need

#10 Lovely Tea Mixture

Here’s a wonderful post from The Herbal Academy with some different mixtures that you can use to create a lovely gift. The post gives different herbal mixtures that you can choose from or make a few to gift.

Tea is a soothing drink that is nice to sip in the evenings to wind down. Or, depending on the mixture, you can drink it in the morning as a replacement for coffee.

My current favorite is Chai and this is the brand that I purchase all the time and love. I’m not fond of getting the boxed tea because I’ve found that the tea bags give it a weird flavor.

What ways are you going to spoil your mom or wife this Mother’s Day? Are you aiming for a no-fuss Mother’s Day?

Easy cleanup is a definite plus here!


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How to Plan Your Week Working From Home as a Mom

Image of a woman writing notes

How to Plan Your Week Working From Home as a Mom

I won’t lie and say working from home as a mom is easy, or even slightly challenging. It can be downright grueling at times. That’s why you have to plan your week working from home! Without planning you’re bound to let some things slip or even forget completely about others.

When you don’t have a plan it can get a bit horrific. I’m talking the hair-pulling, teeth-grinding, screaming kind of horrific. On the flip side, though, it can be a completely rewarding, fun and even an amazing journey.

There is so much room for personal growth on every level when you’re working from home as a mom. You have to learn to cope with a crazy fast-paced environment and possibly late nights to get work done. Unless you plan your week working from home… then you won’t have late nights unless it’s by choice!

Related Post: 7 Easy Tasks You Should Be Outsourcing in Business

How to Plan Your Week Working From Home as a Mom

I am going to be honest… I used to hate planning. Oh, sure, I’d buy planners galore and pretend that I was going to be this super planner mom. I’d pretend that everything would be planned and it would be hunky dory.

Then reality would set in and I’d be eyeballs deep in the planner thinking “wtf did I get this for,” knowing good and well it would just sit on the shelf collecting dust. And who wants extra to dust, am I right?

Things changed though as I started my business. I realized that those partially used planners I owned would come in handy. I’d slowly start using them and referring to them on a daily basis. It was where my notes went, where ideas went, important dates, etc.

My planner slowly started getting more use.

Then, I discovered how much more efficient I was using an online calendar as a planner. I transitioned nearly everything over to Google Calendar because, hello, it had notifications (insert my surprised face). But, there was still planners that ended up on my desk even though I had Google Calendar at my disposal.

The act of writing them down is what made things work for me. There was something about it and I’d heard others say that writing it down creates pathways in your brain (which I never researched) but wasn’t sure if it was true. I can see how it would be true though (still haven’t researched it).

#1 Write It All Out

Writing it all out is the first step to successfully plan your week working from home. There are so many things that could get in your way, but when you write it all out you won’t forget things. The easiest way to do this is by grabbing a blank piece of printer paper and just brain dumping it all onto the sheet.

Then you can make it neat and tidy on either lined paper or just stick straight in your calendar.

I keep a running tab of things I need to do and cross them off as I add them to my task list and calendar schedule. This helps me know what’s been added to my schedule and what hasn’t been added to my schedule.

#2 Group Thing By Tasks

You may or may not like doing this, but give it a fair shot first. This will help you batch items rather than trying to do everything at once and then getting nothing done.

For instance, you can write out your blog post titles for the month and brainstorm the content in one sitting. Then, in the next, you can source all the images for each blog. After that, you’ll create your “Pinterest worthy” images (don’t worry I’ll show you how in an upcoming post). Schedule your social media in another batch. And so on and so forth.

When you do things in batches it will save you time and stress.

Or, you could just be one of those ones that like to write their posts, create images, and schedule all in one sitting. Depending how much time you have to allocate to this, you could literally knock out a months worth of work in one sitting. Aside from interacting on social media of course.

Related Post: 8 Steps to Finding More Time in Your Busy, Frantic-Filled Day

#3 Make Your Schedule

Scheduling things out is pretty much what makes this awesome. When you plan your week working from home and schedule it all in a calendar, shit gets real. And I mean it gets really good.

I’ve been a little lax on this lately and it really hit home last week as I was going over things I needed to do in order to get this blog back where I wanted it to be. So much so, that I took my own advice and started with a blank piece of paper and wrote it all out.

Currently, I’m reviewing my list so I can plan out my week(s) too.

Sometimes we need our own medicine but are too reluctant to take it.

Once you have all your to-do’s brain dumped, grouped and all sorted it’s time to start to scheduling. So, break out your planner or Google Calendar and start putting things in their places. If things are grouped together then schedule them together.

Make sure that you’re giving yourself enough time to finish the task and make sure you give yourself enough time to take breaks too. You don’t want to overwork yourself.

#4 Revisit Your List Often

Just like anything, when you plan your week working from home you need to revisit your list often. Sometimes things won’t be necessary anymore and sometimes you’ll have to add things.

Your schedule is a living breathing object that should be able to flow with your daily life, shift and move just like you do. Be prepared for things to change, for tasks to shift spots and for scheduled times to be rescheduled.

#5 Figure Out What You Can Automate

Automation will save your life!

Ok, but for real, automation will save you so much time it’s unreal. You can schedule an entire month of pinning in a matter of hours depending on how many pins you’re wanting to schedule to be pinned per day.

Pinterest isn’t the only thing though, you can automate other social media channels as well. By batch scheduling your social media posts you’ll save yourself countless hours each day. And, if you use a scheduler like Meet Edgar you can schedule out a TON of content and then have it on repeat! This is such an amazing concept because it allows you to repurpose social media posts over and over and over again.

Essentially, you could schedule out 1000 posts and have them rotated continuously and you never touch it again aside from adding new blog posts to the mix. Imagine how many hours this would save you! Amazing right?

Ideally, you wouldn’t stop posting new content, but in theory, you could and let it loop it all for you.

#6 Consider Outsourcing

Once you get to a point where either the amount of work is getting more than you can handle OR you’re to the point where you want more time freedom you can outsource.

Outsourcing means taking things off your plate and giving it to someone else to do.

So, all those things you don’t like doing? You can hand them off to a VA or business manager and then focus on the things you like doing.

This obviously requires a bit of an investment as you’ll be paying someone to do these things. But, if you can do more of what you love doing (writing blog posts or working with clients) then you can do more of that by freeing up your time.

This could easily help cover the costs of a VA or business manager. You would be focusing on things that would grow your business and add income to the business versus being in the day to day monotonous tasks that take time away from the money making things.

How are you going to plan your week working from home from now on?


Things I Recommend:

Tailwind:

I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. This is the perfect tool for helping you plan your week working from home without adding any unnecessary headaches. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.

BoardBooster:

I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.

ConvertKit:

I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing:

The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.

Do you have any tips or tricks on how to plan your week working from home? Share them in the comments so we can all benefit!

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A Family of 4: Journey to Frugal Living

image of seedlings growing

A Family of 4: Journey to Frugal Living

Our Family of 4 and Our Journey to a “Frugal” Living.

Some might say we’re crazy and others completely understand where we’re coming from. We first started talking about really buckling down when we noticed how often we’d be left with only a little at the end of the month. This talk started a little because of this blog actually. I was so determined to shove this puppy all the way up to 100k pageviews per month in a short amount of time that I was literally doing anything I could, and that meant spending money.

I had to slow my roll. And, frugal living started looking more and more appealing to me, but it was also super hard to even consider. Mostly because I’m not used to it at all!

I’m used to being able to buy things when I need or even want. All that was about to end though.

It was time to start frugal living!

We had bought Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University kit about a year ago but never did anything with it. I mean, we’ve watched one or two of the videos, but that was the extent.

Then, the other night my husband and I were talking about how we wanted to start massively saving our money so that we could build our savings account. Dave’s FPU came up again and we talked about trying to implement that again.

Sometimes you need a push to get going.

I wasn’t too excited about cutting back on certain things (hello sushi night out) and I know our kids are going to be feeling “deprived” soon when their hibachi runs are canceled for a little while.

However, I do think that we need to cut back some. It’s ok to have a once in a while sort of trip out, but once or twice a week was a little excessive. Especially considering the fact that we seem to always have a pretty high bill when we eat out.

Frugal living doesn’t have to be hard (or does it).

My virtual work was slipping (more so from me than anything – huge shift in desires) and so money was getting tighter. But, it was really only getting tight because we spent a good bit of what we earned haphazardly each month. A lot of times it was on buying things for the kids, clothes for them, excessive food from the grocery store (mostly things that were expensive crap food) or some gadgets we don’t need in a camper.

So, I’ve been trying to figure out ways that we can go about saving money and living on less, not because we absolutely need to but… well, we still kind of need to.

My husband and I have never really been ones to want a whole lot of things anyway, and most times I’m the one that gets trapped into the idea that I need things (my Achilles heel are courses and trainings because I love to learn). That’s coming to an end for now unless my business makes the money to pay for it. That’s the idea at least. We’ll see how it goes as far as putting it into practice because there’s an herbal course I want to take at the moment. -_-

Having kids changed me…. not all for the good.

Part (or a lot) of where our money gets spent is going out to eat. This started because I would be so tired that I wouldn’t want to cook, but eventually, it got to where I just didn’t like cooking at all. It was very problematic and started eating our budget because we would end up eating out 2-3 times a week and not even batting an eye.

This alone is enough for us to consider a more frugal living lifestyle!

We’re Shifting To Frugal Living In Steps

What does that mean exactly? Well, frugal living isn’t something we’ve exactly been accustomed to doing or even trying to do, so we imagine it will be a bit hard at first. Therefore, we’re going in steps versus just diving right in and getting to where we’re overwhelmed.

First: Identification

We’re going to identify our leaky pipe areas. The areas where we’re basically letting our money just flow out of our account without a second thought. (hint: one of those is our eating out habits) We’ll see what’s happening in our life and budget so we can make a plan to fix it to where we’re saving rather than spending.

Printing off our bank statements will be the very first thing we do. We’ll also have our highlighters in hand!

Second: Highlighting

We’re going to highlight all the areas where we are spending money that doesn’t have to be spent. For instance, eating out, unnecessary trips to the grocery store, buying things we don’t need, etc., etc.. This will give us an accurate representation of where our money is going and where we can tighten up our spending.

Third: Tackle the easiest

Identifying what areas to tackle first are the next thing we’re going to do. Some things seem easier than others to start trimming down on so we’ll identify which areas would be the easiest. I think slowing down on the eating out is a top priority.

To help us know which task comes next on our spending trimming we’re going to create a list. As we make it through the list we’ll be marking it off. I might even make a pretty list to make it fun. If I create on I’ll post in my next update (or sooner).

Fourth: Accountability

This one is all about accountability, so I’ll be holding myself accountable right here on the blog. I hope to write at least once a week about how we’re doing.

I’ll be holding myself accountable to making more things from scratch and attempting to use up everything we have in the camper before buying more things. Check out this post on how you can save money each month and spend less at the store to feed your family.

Alone, the post above sparked my desire to spend less while shopping. It just shocked me that someone could spend so little and yet feed a family of 4!

Fifth: Repeat as necessary

Just keep repeating until we’re all fixed and saving more than ever! Our main goal and deepest desire is to buy land outright that we can build a house on. That means lots of money saved!

To help boost our little savings other than slashing our spending habits I’m also going to be shoving in money I make from working at home.

  1. I opened an Etsy shop where I’ll be selling leather goods (making things now to fill it)
  2. I’m going to create printables, because who doesn’t love those.
  3. I’ll be adding a new service to create Shopify stores for people
  4. And, I’m contemplating creating a course.
  5. Using Ebates to get cash back on purchases I already make (they have an app for in-store purchases now too).

We’ll see how these things go though for sure. They may or may not work so great, but I’ll keep you updated as we go!

A Family of 4- Journey to Frugal Living

Have you made a journey to frugal living? Share your favorite frugal tips in the comments below!

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How to Survive Motherhood & Keep Your Sanity

image of a baby's feet with sand

Ever feel like you’re on the edge of a cliff and you won’t survive motherhood? All the stress, sleepless nights and screaming getting to you? Feeling like you want to yank out all of your hair? Or perhaps you want to go down a gallon of ice cream while sitting on the kitchen floor (or in the closet to hide)?

It’s ok. We’ve all been there, and some folks more than others (double if you have twins).

At the moment of writing this, my kids are 2 and almost 5 years old and sometimes I feel like I won’t survive motherhood.

How to Survive Motherhood & Keep Your Sanity

On a good day, my son will have loads of energy and be nice to his sister. They’ll play and run around the house like crazy kids and be laughing and giggling, while simultaneously getting into all the mischief they can without actually harming themselves.

  • running in and out of my bedroom
  • taking pots and pans out of the cabinets
  • climbing on the couch and looking out the window
  • tapping on said window and hollering at the birds/chipmunks/squirrels
  • scattering toys from one wall to the next
  • finding markers Lord knows where and marking all over themselves (thankfully not the wall most days)
  • hollering to go outside
    • for food
    • for drinks
  • pulling books off the bookshelves

I think you get the point, right? Typical, ordinary day in the life with kids.

The good days aren’t exactly outnumbering the not so good days, though.

I’ve learned how to survive motherhood by the grace of God really. It took some tinkering, some screaming, a little beer (don’t judge, I’m sure you like beer or wine too), and a lot of timeouts/nap times.

Between:

  • them hitting one another
  • maybe kicking one another
  • pushing one another
  • screaming at the top of their lungs
  • ripping paper into tiny pieces and scattering them everywhere
  • my daughter taking her diaper off then proceeding to run around the house (and pee on the floor)
  • crying over the wrong food
  • crying over the right food
  • refusing to eat food they wanted
  • crying because candy isn’t a good idea
  • then flopping on the floor because I won’t cave in
  • kicking the walls
  • hitting the walls with whatever they can find (albeit no holes yet)

And that list could go on and on…

I’d like to say that there’s a miracle cure for all of this, but that would be a lie and I won’t lie about this.

So, how do I survive motherhood most days?

5 things that really help me:

  1. Yoga
    1. This is a really big one for me and has helped me tremendously. I’m also positive that regular exercise will help too. Especially, if you’re running or lifting weights. It helps take the pent-up energy/emotions and release them. But, yoga, in general, uses the breath through movement and it helps calm me down some. If I’m lucky, my son will get on his mat and dance around pretending to do yoga too. Not only is that amusing, but it helps keep the mood light and lifts my spirits.
  2. Walking outside to breathe
    1. Sometimes I take the kids outside to let them run and play just so I can get a breath of fresh air and connect my feet to the ground.
  3. Lavender essential oil OR Stress Away Roll On
    1. I love Young Living Essential Oils. They’re absolutely amazing and I find myself reaching for Stress Away quite often sometimes. I just put it on my wrists, the back of my neck and breathe deeply.
  4. Dancing it out to high vibe jams on Pandora
    1. This is just fun and I love it. It is definitely a stress reliever in my book. What jams do you love to dance to?
  5. Taking a hot bath
    1. Last but not least… taking a hot bath! Toss a bit of lavender essential oil in there with some Epsom salt and voila! Easy stress relief in a tub. Want a little more? Turn off the lights and light up a few candles and put on some slow jazz or soothing music.

There you have it! My 5 ways to survive motherhood right there for the testing.

GOT ANY COMMENTS, QUESTIONS OR OTHER EASY TIPS TO SURVIVE MOTHERHOOD? SHARE THEM BELOW IN THE COMMENTS!

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