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How to Find Time in Your Busy Schedule to Focus on Yourself

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Twinings of London in partnership with the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Finding Time in Your Busy Schedule to Focus on Yourself

It’s that time of year for us moms, the whirlwind of the holiday season is behind us and we may just be able to take a breath before Easter and spring cleaning starts.
It always feels like I’m being pulled in a million directions, the house needs to be cleaned yet I should be at my desk working, but then who’s taking the kids to sports, and so on.  I know taking even just a moment to focus on myself can leave me feeling guilty, but we have to remember if we don’t take care of ourselves how can we take care of the ones we love?

My favorite way to de-stressed is to curl up with a hot cup of tea and watch a movie or read a book.  Since high-school, this has been my go-to easy way to relax, so I am excited to be teaming up with Twinings of London Tea to bring you my helpful mom tips.


As soon as I make a steaming cup of tea and curl up on the couch, I am immediately relaxed as my mind wanders off thinking about having tea with my Nana as a child and how my best friend would make me tea every Wednesday night all through high-school when we’d have sleepovers.

However, when we are being pulled in a million directions it is hard to find that time to sit and recharge.  So, us moms need to steal the moments when we can.


Here are my 5 easy tips to find time for yourself:

1. Put the kids to bed early!  This is so important in my house, this gives me time to clean up from the day, finish up some work, and most importantly destress and recharge myself.  Plus, kids need those extra hours of sleep to grow and learn.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends kids ages 6-13 get 9-11 hours of sleep.  I usually need 7, that gives me between 2 and 4 hours of time.  

Granted that is on a smooth day when my children go to sleep like clockwork, it’s not an every night thing, but when it goes as planned I am so grateful.

2. Lock your bedroom door.  Seriously, if your children are old enough, mine are 8 and 12, take 15 minutes and hide in your bedroom.  Tell them not to bother you unless it is a real emergency.  Kids will interrupt us while we use the phone, take a shower, and even while we are on the toilet, it does not make you a bad mom to put yourself in time out!

3. Get Some Outside Help.  Do you live close to your kid’s friends?  Or have some awesome neighbors?  Trade of 30 minutes of child care to give each other a quick break.  My neighbor and I used to take turns watching the kids play together outside so that we could each have some quiet time.

4. Get up early.  This one doesn’t work for me, I am so not a morning person but all my mommy friends swear by it.  Get up before the kids, sit in the quiet and enjoy a cup of tea as the sun comes up.

5. The electronic babysitter.  I know this has been controversial since the first technology with a screen was invented, but I honestly feel that in moderation screen time can be a sanity saver for busy moms.  If you are pulling your hair out from a super hard day, put on your kid’s favorite movie while you make yourself a cup of tea and read a book,  or give your child the tablet and let them play some games while you take a long shower.  You will be able to breathe and re-center yourself so that at the end of that little break, you are fully charged and able to go back to being the amazing mom you are!

It’s Tea Time!

Now that you have a few breaks in your day to enjoy yourself, let’s talk tea!  If your going to take some quality me time and enjoy a cup of tea, make sure it’s a good tea!  Twinings of London has been providing quality tea for more than 300 years, starting in 1706, when Thomas Twining opened the House of Twining in London with his vision to sell only the finest teas, herbs, and infusions. 

Now Twinings of London Tea is available at your local grocer and I have had at least a few boxes in my cabinet at all times for as long as I can remember.  However, just because we don’t have to travel to London to get a box of tea that doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing any of its amazing taste.  There are nine Twinings master blenders that travel the world to find only the best teas, spices, herbs, and fruit infusions to guarantee the perfect balance of taste, flavor, and aroma.  I love the 17 herbal flavor options they offer including the latest herbal blends Lemon Delight, Berry Fusion, and Buttermint.

What is your favorite Twinings of London Tea?

The Perfect Time to Enter the Judgement Free Zone

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Planet Fitness.

The Perfect Time to Enter the Judgement Free Zone

I can’t believe it’s already January, I swear life is flying by before my eyes. The worst part is that I don’t think I’m living that life to its full potential. So, my resolutions for this year are to stop caring what

others think and to become comfortable in my own skin, which means I need to get back to the gym to build up my stamina and increase my energy.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone looked at you like your dog did? What would be more amazing is if we could look at ourselves the way our dogs do! They love us unconditionally and completely judgement free. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or how much you weigh, their tails wagging, and those kisses are coming as soon as you walk in the door. Unfortunately, people aren’t dogs and there is so much judgement in the world today, but you can still find a Judgement Free Zone® while you get your workout done at Planet Fitness!

I had gone through several gym memberships before I joined Planet Fitness. I never liked the feel of the gyms I tried before because I always felt out of place. One time when I was signing into an overpriced gym, the lady at the desk rolled her eyes at me when she noticed I hadn’t been for over a month. I had that mom life going on with toddler twins at home. Another gym I tried was clearly catering to the bodybuilding crowd and as a mom who is often working out in yoga pants and a t-shirt that may or may not have a questionable stain on it, I just didn’t fit in.

I joined Planet Fitness when we moved to Florida last year because I loved that there was a location within a mile from my house and best of all like many of their clubs it was fully staffed 24 hours a day. With both my husband and I being self-employed that 24-hour window is amazing! When I first joined, I didn’t know how it was going to work out, I just knew the sunshine state could be a lot of fun if I was healthy. Well, it was one of the best decisions I made during our transition down here. I feel completely comfortable from the moment I walk in, they truly are a Judgement Free Zone® that is for everyone. I work out beside people of all ages and all sizes, there are athletes who are in amazing shape and people just starting their fitness journey.

Is losing weight, getting healthy, or improving your fitness level on your New Year’s goals list? Are you considering joining a gym and a little intimidated? As an actual member of Planet Fitness, I would definitely recommend joining now and taking advantage of the January New Membership Sale!

New members can join at any location from now until January 10th for just $1 down (enrollment fee) and $10 a month. That’s a great price for a great gym membership! I also recommend discussing the benefits of becoming a black card member during your enrollment. Black Card members have access to several benefits including HydroMassage chairs, tanning, and so much more.

Planet Fitness Features:
· Brand name cardio and strength equipment

· Fully equipped locker rooms
· Flat screen televisions
· Free Small group fitness instruction through the pe @ pf® program · An online community called “Planet of Triumphs” that gives members the opportunity to celebrate, support and encourage each other.
· A hassle-free environment called the Judgement Free Zone®
· And so much more!

Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Is 2018 going to be your year? Then head into a Planet Fitness near you and enter the Judgement Free Zone!

Get Ready For Flu Season at Sam’s Club with a Sick Basket

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sam’s Club. All opinions are 100% mine.

Cold and Flu Season is coming, make sure you’re ready for it before it starts by stocking up on medicine and supplies at Sam’s Club while getting your Flu Shot! 
A mom friend of mine once told me about her “Sick Basket” and we have created one in our house every year since!  It’s a basket or bin that you fill with all the supplies you will need when someone inevitably gets sick.  We tuck it away in the linen closet and then pull it out when we need it, this is the best feeling when that icky feeling strikes in the middle of the night!
I’m sure every family has their own list of favorite things that make a bad cold or even worse, the flu, more bearable.
Everything in my basket is conveniently available at Sam’s Club.  With 5 people in my family, we get sick!  I love being able to stock up on everything I’m going to need at Sam’s Club and forgetting about it until it’s needed.
In my Sick Basket I keep:
1) Hard Candy, for sore or dry throats.  I like caramel candies because they remind me of my Nana but many people prefer cough drops.
2) Tea, I love curling up with a hot and steamy cup of sleepy time tea when I’m under the weather.
3) Antibacterial Wipes, with a household of 5 the germs get passed along quickly.  I like to spray down remotes, door knobs and everything else that we touch often.
5) ChapStick, for when your lips get extra dry and under your nose get red and sore from too much wiping.
6) Tissues are a must.
7) Hand Sanitizer also helps clean up hands quickly while also disinfecting them.
8) A Thermometer is also an important thing to have quickly assessable.  Before keeping our in our sick basket, I used to lose thermometers all over the house which made for the crazy middle of the night searches too often.
9) A Water Bottle with a cover is also great for those days your couch-ridden.  I like to put a tablespoon of Honey, Lemon Juice, and a Table Spoon of warm Coconut Oil in my water when I’m sick for a little immune booster.
10)  Dog Walking Bags (or diaper trash bags) for stomach aches.  These make for cheap, easy, and disposable barf bags!
11) Medicine!  The best way to feel better faster is with a good quality cold and flu medication to relieve those miserable symptoms.  Vicks is a trusted brand in our home and when the hubby or I am sick we like to use DayQuil and Nyquil for relief.
Get Your Flu Shot
Visit your Sam’s Club Pharmacy today, to get your flu shot, it’s easy and convenient because they accept walk-ins! No appointment, no problem!
Every year up to 1 in 5 people get the flu in the US and more than 300,000 people were hospitalized with flu-related complications in the 2015-16 flu season.  These are scary statistics, so I want to do everything possible to keep my family from getting the flu.
Are you a Sam’s Club member?  What’s your favorite thing to stock up on at Sam’s?

Visit Sponsors Site

3 tips for Eating Healthy during the Holiday Season

This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Eating Healthy During The Holidays

It can be easy for many of us to lose track of our healthy eating goals during the holiday season.  With so many sweets and processed foods at every holiday party and event, along with the cravings that can come with the colder weather and holiday movies, it can be hard to resist the foods we normally say no to.

3 tips for Eating Healthy during the Holiday Season

Eat something before you go to a holiday party.  If you and your family show up to a holiday function with empty bellies, your more likely to overeat all the tempting treats available.  Instead, eat some fresh fruit or a salad before leaving home, so that you are less likely to overeat at the party and are still getting in some nutritious food.

Eat what is best first.  When you head to the buffet you’ll likely find a table full of veggies, bread, sweets, and turkey.  Eat the veggies and turkey first, and save a little room to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Make your own treats for home, and to bring to holiday functions.  A perfect way to make sure you have a healthy option to eat is to bring one and keep the foods your family is going to be wanting at home.  Instead of eating a piece of the pie that is full of sugar, pastes, and ingredients we don’t know about, my family makes a simple apple pie.  We cut up a few apples and mix them with cinnamon and a drizzle of honey, cook the apples for 10 minutes while making an easy pie crust.  Then use the apples as the filling and bake the crust.  This gives us a delicious sweet treat that I feel better about feeding my kids.
We eat apples like this without the pie crust quite often for a quick and easy sweet treat.

Holiday Spirit of Giving

My kids love to cook with me, and I am blessed to be to have the resources to cook healthy meals with them.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for too many!  Nearly 16 million children live in households that don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year.

However, 4-H Food Smart Families targets families that are eligible for or receiving SNAP/WIC and is helping create more food secure homes by teaching families how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget.  
This includes two components, equipping youth and their families by empowering them to make healthy living part of their everyday lives and helping them with things such as cooking skills and food budgeting skills.  While also connecting families with nutrition assistance resources in their community.  Knowledge is power, and this gives families who are struggling to make ends meet, the knowledge they need to be able to feed their families well.

Since 2011, United Healthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states!

The goal is to continue to test the 4-H Food Smart Families program in select states.  With the end goal of replicating and expanding the program across the entire country.

How You Can Make HIV History!

Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post. Help make HIV history by clicking here.

Make HIV History!

HIV seems like it should be a thing of the past.  I remember as a child born in the 80’s, the fear people had of the unknown.  People feared contracting the disease from sitting on toilet seats and even being in the same room as an HIV positive person.  Looking back, I can’t imagine how these people must have felt, it’s heart breaking.
I was part of the generation who learned as a young teenager, what living with HIV was like from watching Pedro Zamora on Th Real World.  He put a face and many facts to a disease that had our parents scared of something we couldn’t quit understand.  However, decades have passed since that strange and scary period in time, we know so much about the disease, and yet according to UNAIDS 7,000 young women still contract HIV every week!

After over 30 years HIV is still here, it may not be on TV everyday or the topic at the dinner table, but it is still here and taking lives at a staggering rate.  In 2016, 1 million people died of HIV-related illnesses globally according to the World Health Organization.

Some of the Facts according to the CDC and UNAIDS:

Young people make up 20% of HIV/AIDS cases in the United States.

People between the ages of 13 and 24 accounts for over 1 in 5 HIV diagnoses.

400 children contract HIV everyday globally with 290 children dying of AIDS related illnesses every day.

30% of people globally who are HIV positive don’t know it.  The vast majority of people living with HIV are located in low and middle-income countries.

Visit the Johnson and Johnson Make HIV History page to learn more and create your own video for HIV awareness!

Learn more about the facts about HIV at:
https://www.jnj.com
http://www.jnj.com/progress
http://www.amfar.org

These facts are scary, luckily, treatments for HIV have improved, and are continuing to get better.  At this year’s Global Citizens Festival Johnson & Johnson announced a possible HIV vaccine that they are developing!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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