Written by Jacqueline De’Ath
Decorating our homes is an important process. It allows us to express who we are, what it is we love and surround ourselves with things that make us happy and inspire us. It’s the things we put in our home that turn it into our “home sweet home”. However, did you know this is not only true for us as adults, but for our children as well? That’s right, decorating your child’s bedroom can be a huge factor in helping to raise their self-esteem, overall confidence and sense of connection and belonging.
In fact, by building a room around a child’s specific character, as well as their likes, interests and the things they love, you are saying to them: “You matter. Your voice matters. Who you are matters”. For example, if your daughter really loves the color pink, and happens to be really into painting art (even if it is still just finger painting at this stage), creating a room for her that has pretty, pink, pillows or a nice pink wall colour, and also showcasing her art by hanging it in frames on her walls, ultimately helps her honour who she is. You are helping her to begin putting together the building blocks that will make up her identity. You are reminding her that what she likes is important and valued — what she identifies as being a part of herself — is special and worth celebrating.
Furthermore, decorating your child’s bedroom to include various special keepsakes (like achievement plaques, a first stuffed animal, family pictures, etc.), helps them to see that not only are they supported for who they are today, but for who they have been since they time they came into your life. Continue reading Walls Talk – The Importance of Decor in Your Child’s Bedroom
Written by Victoria Baird
Aging gracefully is a reoccurring topic for me. Why? Because I am 46 and trying my best to do just that… age gracefully! Not because I want to look young, but rather so I don’t look ridiculous!
I am proud to be 46. I never lie about my age; I embrace it and have moved into mid-life in good shape, I’m happy, confident and aware of what I don’t want. As much as there are some “choice terms” out there for beautiful women in their forties and fifties, I am very aware of not trying too hard to retain my youth because I want my naturally sexy, sassy, sophisticated self to shine! I offer advice from personal experience and share what I see and hear, added with my years as a hairstylist and image coach. So with that in mind, I want to share with you some tips about aging gracefully that have worked for me:
Head to Toe
Don’t colour your hair too light – bleached out (think Barbie), or too dark (think Goth). Hair that’s coloured in either extreme can offset our skin tone, which is also changing as we age!
Do choose a hair colour that’s somewhere in the middle. Your hairstylist can help you select a colour that you love and also suits your skin tone. Also consider adding hi-lites and/or low-lites for dimension and to make your style interesting!
Continue reading Personal Image Mistakes that Women Make & How to Avoid Them
… and actually get to drink a hot cup of coffee before noon!
Written by Elaine Tan Comeau
Being a mom is like having to be a superhero, or the CEO of your own household! Studies show that morning time is the most stressful time for moms — but it does not have to be this way! Discover five strategies to successfully melt morning stress away and get your kids to shine to their full potential as helpful members of the family!
- Manage your time.
There is a saying that goes like this, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” The best way to free up time in the morning is to plan to get things prepared the night before. I know we’ve all heard this, but how many of us do it? Taking just one thing out of the morning routine and getting it done the night before gives you an extra 10 to 20 minutes in the morning! It is worth it, whether it’s picking out clothes for tomorrow and laying them out, or packing lunches and putting them in the fridge. Demonstrating to our kids how to plan ahead and spread out tasks over time, instead of cramming, teaches them a life skill that will prepare them for bigger challenges as they continue to grow older, challenges they will face when it comes to things like doing big school projects and studying ahead for multiple exams.
- Manage your expectations.
If children could be programmed like robots to do everything they are supposed to do, there would be no need for us parents! Parenting is not so controlled, so let’s make our expectations realistic. Identify one to three key tasks or steps you want your child to accomplish each morning. For example, you may want them to become independent at getting dressed and being at the breakfast table by 7:45AM. Start with small steps to help them build up independence. When they can see success in completing one small step with ease, they will be more up for the challenge of doing another task independently.
Continue reading 5 Strategies to Conquer the Morning Madness…
Written by Jan Baxter
While being grateful for my many blessings this holiday season, I got to thinking about miracles. It seems that we often think about “who” we are — we are a parent, an aunt, a grandmother; we are kind, we are a provider, etc. But do we ever think about “what” we are? We are miracles!
According to Albert Einstein, “You can choose to live your life as if nothing is a miracle, or as if everything is a miracle.”
I feel that each and every one of us is a miracle. Consider these amazing facts:
- In one square centimetre of skin there are over 3 million cells, 1500 bacteria, 700 sweat glands, 200 nerve endings to record pain, 10 hairs, and 1 meter of blood vessels.
- The adult heart is about the size of the fist, and beats about 40,000,000 times a year. During an average lifetime, the heart will pump enough blood to fill 200 train tank cars.
- A newborn‘s skull has gaps between its bony platelets; whereas in an adult, the jagged plates interlock tightly like a jigsaw puzzle.
- An adult skeleton has 206 bones, and an adult human body has about 100 trillion cells.
- We have about 5 million receptors in the upper part of our nasal passage that help us distinguish among thousands of different odours.
- There are about 9,000 taste buds on the surface of our tongue, in the throat, and on the roof of the mouth.
- Our body rebuilds itself in less than 365 days – for example, a new stomach lining is formed every 5 days, a new liver is formed every 6 weeks, our D. N. A. every 2 months, a whole new skeleton every 3 months, and our blood every 4 months.
Are you a miracle? Just check your pulse!
Jan Baxter is an Elite+ Mompreneur Member from Waterloo, Ontario. As an Independent AIM Distributor and Living Well Coach, Jan is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and inspiring others to do the same.
featured image courtesy of shutterstock
Written by Dana Shortt
I recently had the pleasure of giving a talk that focused on “entertaining like a caterer”. Although I love to entertain, I’m fully aware that it can be quite stressful and intimidating for many people. If you are less than eager to entertain, there is always the option of taking people out to a restaurant for dinner (who’s going to complain about that?), but if you’re feeling a bit more daring, here are my top 10 tips to make entertaining at home as easy as possible:
Prepare dishes that can be made in advance.
In colder months, serve dishes that taste better the day after they are made, such as coq au vin, beef bourguignon, chicken marsala, curries, pasta bakes or another one of your favourite “one-dish-meals” that can go from oven-to-table. In warmer months, serve cold or room temperature dishes such as grilled salmon, cold sliced chicken or flank steak, potato salad and a platter of roasted vegetables. These room temperature menu items can be cooked, put on platters and garnished in advance — and when it’s time to eat, all you have to do is remove the plastic wrap and serve!
In addition to the food, prepare whatever else you can in advance.
For example, have your coffee set up so that you only have to press the start button; have your cream and milk already poured into the creamers and stored in the fridge; select and set up your music; have your matches or lighter out near the candles, and so on. In other words, do whatever you can in advance so that you aren’t running around at the last minute trying to get organized!
Serve “buffet-style” or “family-style” whenever possible.
Plated meals take a lot more time, require more fussing about, and the food can get cold easily. I love serving buffet or family-style because your guests are able to choose their own portions and/or avoid taking something that they aren’t as fond of, without embarrassing themselves or the host/hostess! Continue reading Easy Tips for Entertaining at Home
Balance is often a moving target. One week it’s great and others prove more challenging with both business and home-life responsibilities competing for time and energy. Balance is important no matter what the endeavor. It isn’t just about having more time to spend with your family – it’s also about smart business. It’s our belief that there can never be true balance, but as long as the effort is made on all fronts, success can be had!
Here are five steps to get a jump-start on work and home life:
Organize your time.
Streamline like activities together and/or blocking off specific amounts of time for each activity. For example, sticking to a designated time to respond to email, and another time slot to respond to voicemail is an effective strategy to help minimize distractions and remain focused.
Use the resources and tools available to you.
Many small business owners use financial software management toolsÂ to help them stay organized and manage the backend of the business. If you’re investing in technology like software, take time to learn how to use the tools effectively and realize the full benefits.
Ask for help.
If there are jobs to perform that friends and family can do, ask them to lend a hand. This way, it is easier to check items off your list faster, and you can get back to doing what you really love.
Communicate with family and friends.
A recent survey identified that almost 80 per cent of Canadians wish they could see more of their friends and family who are entrepreneurs. Family members may have different ideas on work-life balance and it’s important to take time to truly understand each perspective. This cuts down on unnecessary frustration between each other and helps to build understanding and support.
Don’t wait for people to get back to you. Also, let people know upfront what you need. After a meeting, be clear on expectations with others and follow up with email if necessary on action items and next steps. This will ultimately save time and needless back and forth.
featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com
Written by Kim Vopni
As mompreneurs we have a lot going on, and often our business and our family take priority over our own needs. One area that really gets neglected is the pelvic floor, but I am here to tell you that you need to pay attention – for the sake of your business! That’s right, paying attention to your pelvic floor will make you a better mompreneur!
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that attach to the pubic joint at the front, the tailbone at the back, and the 2 sitz bones on the side. They form sort of a diamond shape at the base of your pelvis and have some very important jobs.
This group of muscles act to support the spine and the pelvis. They help control elimination, so you can decide when you want to pee, poo or fart instead of that decision being made for you. They help hold the internal organs – the bladder, the uterus, and the rectum – in place, and they have a role in our sexual satisfaction or lack thereof. For such an important group of muscles, they really get neglected and will start sending out some SOS signals in hopes that you pay attention, including:
Pain is a signal that your pelvic floor may send to you. You may have pain in your pelvis, you may have pain in your low back, you may have pain in your SI joint, or you may have pain with sexual intercourse which is called dyspareunia. Continue reading Why Prioritizing Your Pelvic Health Will Make You a Better Mompreneur
Entrepreneurs have a tricky way of life to contend with when it comes to “Home Life”. There often isn’t a standard 9 to 5 workday, even if there is a standard 9 to 5 schedule, nor is there often the option to “leave work at the office” when walking through the door at home. As entrepreneurs, the two paths of work and home are almost always intertwined in a big old tangled mess – the question is, how do we know when to scale back from one aspect of our lives to focus on the other? And is that even possible?
We’ve detailed 2 easy methods for entrepreneurs to leave work at work (so to speak!) with the end goal of enjoying home life guilt free.
Start With Purpose
How wonderful would it be to walk into your office every day knowing exactly what you are going to tackle for the day? By setting consistent and reasonable goals for yourself, whether clearing your email inbox by noon, returning phone calls in the first hour of work, or closing at least x amount of sales by days end, you are not only allowing yourself to strive for productivity, but you are also creating a “schedule” so to speak; something that you can allocate time and effort towards that, if uncompleted by day’s end, you can continue to work on upon entering the office the next day. Uncompleted tasks aren’t a sign of failure – they will help you to foster a more accurate way to set goals until your work habits eventually resemble those of a well-oiled machine.
- Create a list of 5 attainable To-Do items (extra points for setting a goal time at which to finish)
- Be sure to take into account any actionable items that are urgent (meetings, appointments)
- Aim to address all 5 items on your list by end of the day, even if uncompleted
Go Ahead – Talk to Yourself
There’s no distinction between the methods of conversation you can have with yourself. Maybe you’re an end-of-day- list-maker, or a throughout-the-day-note-taker; or perhaps you leave yourself voice messages throughout the day to remind you of things that need doing. Whatever system works for you, use it! When you walk through that door at home, your mind needs to be mentally prepared for all that your home means to you; it could be family, relaxation, pets, time with friends, or everything in between. By communicating with yourself about what you need to do for your next work day before your current workday is over, you are allowing your mind to focus on other tasks and moments that are in the now as soon as your office time is up.
No matter what, remember that it’s easy to fall into bad habits of always being ‘on’ when it comes to entrepreneurship and running your own business. It’s up to you to set the parameters that are necessary not only for your own sanity, but also for your family and loved ones to know that you value your time with them as much as you do with your company.
featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com
Written by Amanda Gazzola
There is one thing I never skip. Ever.
It’s my morning shake.
It’s part of my morning routine and it’s my quick go-to for a morning meeting or as I sit down to respond to emails and social media or write in my journal.
A long time ago I committed to paying better attention to my health, and part of that commitment is starting my day with the fuel my body needs.
I now always eat breakfast and believe that you should too! Continue reading Getting Your Morning Off to a Great Start
Written by Denise Bysma
It goes without saying that home offices are extremely popular and that working from home provides you with countless freedoms that you might not experience while working in an office building. One such freedom is the option of decorating your work space according to your own personal taste. But does that home office upgrade pay off when you decide to sell your home?
Taking Out a Bedroom
It’s common today for people to transform a bedroom into a huge master closet or into a home office with a built-in desk and cabinet. Make sure the room can be easily turned back into a bedroom when the home is put on the market. Buyers with kids may need that bedroom and can’t envision a room for little Jenny past your piles of messy papers. They’ll see the room you converted into a home office as more money they will need to spend to turn it back into a bedroom.
If you have a large enough home with four or more bedrooms, and convert one into a home office, this will be more ideal than if you have a cozy two bedroom cottage and you are losing one bedroom to office space. If this is the case, then you have really decreased your market of buyers and your return on investment.
A big trend is the creation of a multi-functional space that serves as both an office, and a bedroom, game room or library. Skip the built-in intricate desks, shelves and cabinets. To create this space more effortlessly and a lot more cost effectively, it’s important to buy furniture that is multi-purpose, such as desks that offer a lot of storage, or a hideaway bed that doubles as a cabinet.
While some designers are encouraging home office owners to go bold with their colour choices, the best way is to keep the home office décor classic and neutral so it retains it’s attractiveness for years to come. It will also appeal to that home buyer deciding on your home or the one down the street. Classic pieces offer fewer distractions and enhances productivity in the work space too.
Denise Bysma is an Elite Mompreneur Member based out of Guelph, Ontario. She is a licensed realtor with Coldwell Banker Neumann Real Estate Brokerage. Get in touch with Denise for more information on renovations and the return on investment for resale purposes.
This article was previously published on denisebysma.com
Featured image courtesy of shutterstock.com