Archive | July, 2016

A Day In The Life

Every time I post to my blog, my Grandma emails me and says that she’s read it and she just doesn’t know how I do all of it.  So today, I’m going to show her and you how.

I documented pretty much everything I did this past Wednesday.  It was interesting because as I would write things down I realized I do quite a lot throughout the day.  However, I wasn’t the greatest at taking pictures of it all, so you’ll have to use your imagination to fill in the gaps.

6:00-Wake up, even though I set my alarm for 5:30, oops!  My husband is usually up around 5 or 5:30 so I typically get up around the same time.

6:15-8:00-I use the early mornings to work on blog posts, my Rodan + Fields business, read emails, and check social media.

A Day In The LifeHere’s my view while working.  The trusty baby monitor always lets me know when I have to be done working.

8:00-8:10-I spent this time getting ready, making the bed, and taking the time to use my face wash system.  I really do enjoy taking a few minutes to wash my face everyday, and the results of doing so aren’t bad either.

A Day In The Life8:10-I had to wake up my daughter on this day.  She usually wakes up between 7:00 and 8:00, but sometimes needs a little help getting up.  I’m pretty sure the teenage years are going to be difficult because she already rolls over and covers her head with a blanket anytime I have to wake her up.

8:30-9:00-After getting my daughter ready I made breakfast.  While she eats, I usually use the time to pick up anything in the living room, do dishes, and get our bags ready for whatever we have planned for the day.

8:35-Confessions of a Potty Training Mom: my daughter decided that she didn’t need to go to the bathroom after waking up, so I spent several minutes cleaning up a pee puddle, and large pee spot on my upholstered dining room chair.  Then cleaning up a toddler and changing her clothes that I had literally just put her in.  Do the accidents ever stop?

9:00ish-We left for library story time

A Day In The LifeThis is my “mom uniform,” shorts, flip-flops, a casual t-shirt, and my Origami Owl wrap watch.  Get yours from my really good friend, here.

9:30-10:30- The libraries near us to very frequent story times, which is great.  Plus, some libraries have really cool play areas.  We try to go at least once a week.

A Day In The Life

She's "working" in this picture.

She’s “working” in this picture.

11:00-12:00-After story time we had a few things to pick up at Ikea.  It’s a great place to get things for your home, but it’s also a great place to let your kids run around and play a little bit.  They have a great kids area, and several play spots throughout the store.  We had to get a laundry drying rack and replace a broken picture frame.  We’re slowly getting our house organized and focused on the garage and laundry room right now.  Things look pretty good on the surface, but please don’t check under my sinks or in our closets.  It’s chaos there!

A Day In The Life12:00-12:30-We had lunch at Ikea also, because their cafe has some pretty good food.  And kids eat free!

A Day In The Life1:45-We left around 12:45, drove home, and unpacked our bags.  Around 1:45 is my favorite time of day….nap time!  My daughter typically naps around 1:30-2:00 for about two hours.  Nap time is really when I can get a lot of things done without much interruption.

1:45-4:00-While she was napping I worked on blog to-dos, Rodan + Fields things, and starting making preparations for some upcoming travel next week.

A Day In The Life4:00-Around 4:00 my daughter woke up from her nap.

4:00-5:15-After my daughter’s nap, I had her to help me clean around the house.  We had some friends coming into town this night and staying with us, so I wanted to pick things up a bit.  I let my daughter help me clean by allowing her to spray the spray bottles of cleaner.  Don’t worry, we use homemade cleaners that are pretty safe.  She sprays our all-purpose cleaner (a recipe of 50/50 Dawn dish soap and vinegar) into the shower and tub, and our homemade glass cleaner (a recipe of 50/50 vinegar and water) onto my cleaning rag.  Getting my daughter involved allows me to actually get some things cleaned and I hope teaches her how to keep things tidy.  I also vacuumed, took trash out, and refreshed linens for overnight guests.  To see what I do when we have overnight guests, check out this post.

5:30- After cleaning the house, I started making dinner.  Dinner on this day was all about balance.  We had sloppy joes (not the healthiest, but one of my daughter’s favorite foods), but I paired it with a kale and artichoke salad.  I first had the kale and artichoke salad at a brunch buffet on Father’s Day, it was so good I wanted to recreate it at home.

Kale Salad6:00-My husband got home a little later from work on this day, but got home right before dinner.  We typically try to eat around 6:00 most nights.

6:30-We cleaned up from dinner.

6:30-8:30- We were feeling quite productive after dinner and did a bunch of things around the house.  We took trash out to the curb, cleaned out our truck and switched the car seat back to my car, watered flowers, then played a game inside of Seek-A-Boo.  My daughter enjoys putting all of the game pieces out across our floor and finding all the different items.

8:30-Our friends arrived and we spent quite a while chatting with them while our kids played together.  They are moving to the area and I foresee a lot of play dates in the future.

9:30- After wearing the kids out it was finally bed time for our tired little toddler.  She normally goes to bed around 8:30, but it was just too fun playing with new friends.

9:30-10:30-After my daughter was in bed, I spent about an hour following up with Rodan + Fields customers via text, email, and facebook.  I love that I can work this business in short time periods throughout the day.

10:30-Bedtime!  I am the worst about going to bed at a decent hour, but my goal is always 10:30.  I rarely make it.  I felt so much less tired the next day after going to bed at a reasonable hour.  I really need to do it more often.

So that was my day, it was fairly typical, and I kind of enjoyed documenting all of it.  I’m sure you’d feel really productive if you took an inventory of everything you did at the end of the day.  Give it a try, you’ll be surprised at all that you do!

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget that today Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change® Foundation will donate $5 to our nonprofit partner buildOn —helping to provide students with positive afterschool opportunities in safe, encouraging environments.  Just take a make-up free selfie and post it to social media with the hashtag #rfgonaked.  Let’s raise some serious money for these students!

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How to Feed a Crowd

Pinterest Graphic-Feed a CrowdI hope everyone had a great 4th of July and spent time eating watermelon, barbeque, and spending time with family and friends.  We did all of those fun things, and made enough food to feed an army.

In order to spend time with your friends and family, smoking your meat is a great alternative to barbequing.  Here’s a tutorial on smoking a big brisket and getting to hang out with all of your friends.

My husband got an electric smoker several years ago, and has become obsessed with figuring out the best way to make tender, juicy, delicious brisket.  He’s tried several methods, but has settled on this one that has gotten rave reviews.

Step 1: Rub the Meat

My husband uses a Kansas City rub recipe. It’s smoky, not too spicy, and a little sweet.  Perfect!

Kansas City Rub Recipe

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup paprika

1 Tbsp black pepper

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp cayenne

-Mix together in a bowl

-Rub onto all sides of the brisket

Smoked BrisketStep 2: Marinate

After rubbing the meat with the recipe in Step 1, cover the meat and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  I definitely recommend adding a second or third box of baking soda to your refrigerator to help with any strong smells.

Smoked BrisketStep 3: Make a Baste

To make the baste add some apple cider vinegar to whatever rub you have left over.  Baste periodically, about every two to three hours, by spooning the baste over the top of the brisket.  After the first few times of basting, you can just use the juice from the brisket pan to baste.

Smoked BrisketStep 4: Get the Smoker Ready

We use hickory or mesquite wood chips to get a smoky flavor.  Be sure to soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes to extract the flavor.

Step 5: Smoke the meat

My husband usually sets the smoker to 225 degrees when making brisket.  A good rule of thumb when smoking is to smoke the meat for an hour and a half per pound.

Smoked BrisketStep 6: Wrap up the Meat

Once the brisket is done in the smoker, wrap it up in aluminum foil, then (I know this sounds weird) place it in a cooler with a few old towels.  It keeps the heat in, allows the juices to redistribute, and makes it more tender.  My husband usually does this for about two hours, but if you have more time, it won’t hurt to leave the meat in the cooler longer.

Smoked BrisketStep 7: Slice it Up and Enjoy

After the brisket has hung out in the cooler for a few hours, it’s time to slice it up!  Typically there is a layer of fat on most briskets.  We always cut that off the top first, then cut up the rest of the meat.

Smoked BrisketThere is a little bit more work on the front end using this method.  However, it’s nice to be able to have the cooking done when your party starts and guests arrive.  All of the work is done ahead of time.  It doesn’t hurt that you end up with a delicious brisket.

Depending on the size of brisket, you can get a lot of bang for your buck and feed a lot of people.  I recommend purchasing a brisket that is half a pound to a pound a person.  That will be more than enough to feed everyone.

How do you feed a big crowd?  Do you want some meat now after reading this?

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Monthly Goals and Tips to Achieving Them

Goals ListIt’s July 1st already, and I know you’re only thinking about eating all kinds of BBQ and watching fireworks this weekend.  However, the first of the month is pretty important.  It’s a great time to set some goals!

I like to take some time to set goals at the beginning of each month, and even each week.  Spending some time to think about what you want to accomplish and how to do it gives you a much better chance at actually accomplishing your goals.

This month I have three sections of goals.  A list for my personal goals, one for the blog, and one for my Rodan and Fields skin care business.  Because I have a lot of things I’m trying to accomplish, it helps me to write them down, organized in their own sections.

Goals ListI have some pretty lofty goals so I am going to be working hard and hustling to try and reach them.  My goal list is black and white, so there isn’t any grey area as to what I need to do.

I recently listened to a training that talked about goals.  In the training, it was said that if you are doing activity everyday towards your goals then you’ll reach them.  Based on that training, I tried to focus on what activity and how much I was going to be doing to reach my goals.  This month is also very busy with traveling, guests, birthdays, and holidays so making my goals specific is going to help me in staying focused.

Goal Setting Tips

  • Make your goals more attractive by making them pretty.  Decorate your goal list, doodle on it, use fun colors.  Spending a couple more minutes making it look nice will give you more time to really think about your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.
  • Be sure to display them where you will see them everyday; in your calendar, on your bathroom mirror or taped to the edge of your computer. If you took a few extra minutes to make them pretty you will want them to be out in the open.
  • This tip is used quite a bit, but make your goals SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
  • Check in with your goals each week and see if you are doing what needs to be done to reach them by the end of the month.

Goasl ListLike I said before, I have some lofty goals this month, but hopefully putting them out on the internet will be the motivation I need to cross every one of them off of my list.  Be sure to send some good vibes my way this month as I work towards my goals.  I may just post at the end of the month how successful I was completing the list.

Do you make a goal list every month?  What’s your biggest tip to achieving them?  Have a great 4th of July weekend!

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Celebrating everyday!