Sunday, March 11, 2018

Signs You're Close to Burnout and What to Do About It

Burnout is real. While I talk about self-care mostly from the perspective of parents ANYONE can experience burnout. We live in a culture that glorifies overworking ourselves. We glorify "the grind" but there's nothing glamorous about working yourself to death. I've gotten much better at realizing that I'm close to burnout before I actually get there.

Signs you're close to burnout:

  • physical and/or emotional exhaustion
  • frustration
  • short temperedness 
  • feeling resentment for helping others
  • being unable to focus
  • experiencing anxiety at the onset of any new responsibilities 
Burnout can sneak up on the best of us. We juggle so many things and can find ourselves overwhelmed without noticing it coming on. If you realize you're close to burnout here are some good things to do.

How to deal with burnout: 

Offload Responsibilities (ask for help)

Offload responsibilities in the long term or the short term. For the short term -  ask your spouse for extra assistance with the children, ask your boss to adjust deadlines if possible, ask your co-workers for assistance with your tasks. In the long term - consider stepping down from a volunteer position or moving down from leadership to just a member in one of your groups or clubs. 

Make Plans for Disconnection

Set a plan. Actually schedule your rest and relaxation. This gives you something to look forward to, which can help with getting through feelings of burnout, even if you can't rest right away. Scheduling your downtime also ensures that you get the time you need to recharge to stave off burnout in the future. 

Don't Forget Your Basic Needs

Feeling like you have the world on your shoulders can make you neglect your basic needs, which just brings about burnout faster. Make sure you're eating. Make sure you're sleeping. Make sure you're getting some sort of small respite from responsibilities, even something as simple as a walk around the block.

How do you know when you're burned out? What do you do when you're feeling burned out?




Sunday, February 18, 2018

5 Tips for Working from Home with Kids

This guide is for the occasions when you have to work from home with your children, for instances like weather related school closures when you still have deadlines. I cannot say this is a guide for working from home full-time with a child, because that is extremely difficult and would take more tips than these. I tip my hat at parents who work from home with kids full-time. 

The reality is you cannot give 100% to parenting and 100% to working at the same time. It's impossible. And there is guilt that comes with working from home with your children - you feel like both your children and your job deserve more attention but you can't spread yourself any thinner. It's exhausting. But there are times when you have to work from home with your child, in those cases these suggestions will help. 

working from home with kids

Make a Schedule

If you know ahead of time what you plan to do with your day that makes it easier for you to let your job know how much you will accomplish in the day, and helps you plan activities to keep your kids occupied and entertained. 

Set Realistic Work Goals

Be realistic when it comes to how much work you can get done. You cannot complete eight hours worth of work in the day when you have to tend to your child, make meals, put them down for naps, etc. 

Utilize Naps (or quiet time)

Save the tasks that need the most brainpower for nap time, or if your child no longer naps, for their quiet period of the day. This will be the best time to get work done because you have no guilt from not tending to your child and the least distraction. 

Utilize Screen Time

When I have to get work done, I have no problem allowing BabyCakes to watch TV or play with the iPad or my phone. An instance when you have to get work done from home is a great time to pull out devices to entertain your child. 

Don't Beat Yourself Up

Working from home with a child is EXHAUSTING. Don't beat yourself up about not being able to get everything done for everybody, and definitely reward yourself with a glass of wine or dessert after bedtime, because you deserve it!



Saturday, February 17, 2018

My Favorite No-Prep Meal

This post was sponsored by Tai Pei, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I love eating. And most times I love cooking. Before having a family, I had imagined myself making Pinterest quality meals for my family from scratch laid out next to beautiful table scapes for every meal. The reality of being a working mom is that sometimes I'm exhausted by the time it's time to make dinner. Some days due to traffic or extracurricular activities there's not a lot of time left to make dinner before it's BabyCakes' bedtime. I'm also juggling two picky eaters so by the time I've made separate/altered meals for everyone I'm drained.

Meal responsibilities don't stop with dinner time. Now that we're a team of three with a pre-schooler on our hands there's usually only enough leftovers for one person's lunch the next day. So I also have lunch preparing to contend with. I'm not too proud to use quick meal solutions to make life easier. My favorite on-the-go meals are easy to prepare, easy to travel with, and warm. I just don't feel satiated with cold meals.

I recently tried out Tai Pei entrees and they are great for easy no-prep lunch or dinner. They have quick and tasty Asian food. I tried out the General Tso's Spicy Chicken and Orange Chicken flavors but they have a wide range of flavors each made with flavor-infused fried rice. All their entrees are made with real, pure ingredients, and no preservatives or artificial ingredients. The product packaging makes Tai Pei quick and simple to prepare in just minutes in the microwave. It's a no-fuss lunch solution, especially if I don't have much time to stop for lunch during work.

Tai Pei provides a great meal on a budget. I feel satisfied after eating them, like I had take-out, but without the takeout prices! Use the store locator to find where Tai Pei single serve frozen fried rice is available near you (in the frozen food section).

Enter in the raffle widget below for a chance to win one of 10 prizes ($100 Walmart gift cards) & 3 Grand Prizes  ($500 Walmart gift cards). Giveaway runs Monday, January 29th - Monday, March 5th 2018. I-C will randomly select 13 winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes.

Tai Pei Sweepstakes (Phase 3)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How to Host an Easy and Successful Game Night

This post is intended for an audience of adults age 21 and older. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Bacardi. All opinions are mine alone. #SignatureSips #CollectiveBias

How to Host an Easy & Successful Game Night

One of the things I want to do more of this year is host gatherings at my home. I’m always looking for ways to make hosting easier. For a recent game night I went to an unlikely spot to pick up the bulk of my food and beverage needs - Wendy’s

How to host an easy and successful game night

Have food and drink

The key to any good gathering is food and drink! Make things easy on yourself by grabbing food and drinks from Wendy’s! You can display the food on a cupcake stand to make it look festive. 

Burger and Fries Tower

I picked up Dave’s Singles® and Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, both of which pair great with Signature Strawberry Lemonade, only available at Wendy’s. I used the Strawberry Lemonades and paired them with Grey Goose Le Citron to make a quick delicious cocktail. The Strawberry Lemonade is made with real lemons and strawberries and Grey Goose is known as the World’s best tasting vodka - they are a match made in hostess heaven!

Wendy's strawberry lemonade

For each person/serving add 2oz of Grey Goose Le Citron and 4oz of Strawberry Lemonade to your shaker. You can shake it with just the ice that comes in the Signature drinks or add some more. Strain into your glasses and add a lemon twist for a cute garnish. 

Plan Ahead

Prior to your party you should make solid plans that include: 
  • Getting an accurate number of attendees
  • Making sure you have enough seating and table space for the number of attendees
  • Get familiar with any new games you plan to play so you can give instructions clearly

Choose Your Games Wisely

Picking the right games for a game night is a delicate balance. You want to consider: 
  • Picking games that accomodate the number of people you’ve invited
  • Having a selection of games that range from novice to more advanced games

Read the Room

Keep your host/hostess intuition in mind. If it seems like your guests aren’t enjoying a particular game ask if people would like to complete it or move on. Choose a game based on the mood of the room. Don’t suggest a really intricate thinking game while people are eating, or a game based on intimate humour if guests haven’t gotten comfortable yet. 

Grab your food and drink from Wendy’s and follow these tips to make your next game night a breeze!


Sunday, January 21, 2018

4 Reasons You Should Have a Staycation with Your Spouse if You Have Kids

My husband and I both work. BabyCakes goes to daycare during the day. His sister is relatively local but our daughter's grandparents are both states away. All this to say we don't have many childcare options. Because of this we don't get much time with just the two of us. We were very fortunate to have our first parents only vacation this year after three years of parenting.

So what do you do when you can't get away as a couple? You have a STAYCATION! Between Christmas and New Years Hubs and I had a week off of work together and it was AWESOME. We caught up on TV, watched movies, went on day dates, and played games.

You can take advantage of your usual child-care

The advantage of a staycation when you are a parent is that you can utilize your usual child-care if you don't have access to childcare to go on vacation. Each day we brought BabyCakes to daycare as usual, and then had the days to ourselves. 

You can rekindle your pre-kid couple vibe

Becoming parents changes you as a couple. We've been a family of three for a while now and I love it, but there is something special about our couple only moments. A staycation allows you to rekindle how things were before your bundle of joy made their entrance, being in your home and interacting with each other without parenting, going on spontaneous dates, etc. 

It helps you enjoy your children more

I was so amazed at how much energy I had to play with my daughter during our staycation. I was excited for her to come home, planning more activities for us to do and enjoying more playtime with her. When you have time to relax and enjoy yourself and your partner, it leaves you with more energy to care for your child when they are home. 

It allows for intentional relaxation in your home

You would think that you always relax when you're home but that just isn't the case. You're doing housework, working on work and side projects, etc. A staycation allows you to have intentional and dedicated relaxation time in your home, a luxury we don't often have.

If you can't make it on a full vacation with your spouse consider a staycation. They definitely have their benefits!




Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Adventures of Prada Enchilada Giveaway

Hey Ya'll! It's my first post of 2018 and I'm very excited about it. This giveaway is special to me because it features products from one of my friends from college, Davon Clark.

After graduating from college, while substitute teaching, Davon noticed a lack of excitement for literacy in schools. To combat that, he created his own interactive children's book, and that is how the Adventures of Prada Enchilada series and the ADC Kid brand was born.

I'm giving away a copy of The Adventures of Prada Enchilada, The Eight Planets and a Prada Enchilada and Mimi Tortellini Activity & Coloring BookThe Adventures of Prada Enchilada, The Eight Planets is geared towards 2nd graders going into 3rd grade, but the basic message of learning about the planets, color identification, fun facts, and utilizing basic counting skills can be used with any child. The activity book can be used by anyone. It has color by number, color by letters, connect the dots, hidden object pages, and more. BabyCakes even enjoys coloring in it.

ADC Kid has served over a thousand youth in schools, businesses, community centers, juvenile detention centers, and non-profit organizations. If you work with children and are interested in having them visit your school check out their website

To enter the giveaway use the Rafflecopter widget below! I'll be taking entries until January 24th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Setting Intentions for 2018

Happy, Merry, Holidays! I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season. And if the holidays are hard for you I wish you strength getting through to the New Year.

Speaking of the New Year, I'm going to a Vision Board creation event this weekend and realized I haven't sat down to think through my intentions for 2018. The last time I made a vision board was 2014.

Vision Board

As you can see, the main thing I was trying to manifest that year was a baby, and we got her!

In sitting down to think about what I want 2018 to bring I've decided on:

Friendships - In 2018 I hope to connect more and on a deeper level with my friends.

Health - I am determined to move more, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink more water. I don't even have any sort of weight goal, I just want to know I'm doing the best for my insides.

Leadership - I want to be a stronger and more confident leader.

Teaching - I want to use my expertise in marketing to help people and organizations have successful brands. I'm already scheduled to lead a marketing seminar in the summer, and I've started a marketing specific Twitter account, @laneshemarkets

Money - I want to spend less and pay off more debt in the coming year.

Family - In the New Year I'm also looking forward to more quality time with my family and watching BabyCakes grow and mature more and more each day.

What do you want to manifest in 2018?

Setting Intentions for 2018

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