The Simple Phrase that Will Teach Kids to Help Others

The Simple Phrase that Will Teach Kids to Help Others

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The Simple Phrase that Will Teach Kids to Help Others

When I see parenting articles advertising miracle cures like“The one phrase that will change everything” I am usually super skeptical. Unless of course that phrase is, “Here is 1 million dollars and a half gallon of ice cream.”

When my 4 kids are all screaming at once, there’s a puddle of pee on my floor, and my house looks like the aftermath of a tornado, no magical phrase is going to save me. 

So it’s not without a distinct understanding of the difficulties of motherhood that I claim to have a phrase that will not only teach kids to be more helpful, but also change the mood of your home.

I know, because it’s what happened in our home.

It takes my kids just minutes to turn my house into post-bombing rubble. And the second I would try to get Eleanor and Edie (aged 6 and 5) to help out it would be as though I’d just asked them to saw off their own arms.

Or suddenly their bodies would cease to function. In an instant, they would go from happily playing to lying spread eagle on the floor whimpering and exclaiming that they were simply too tired to put away a toy or hang up a backpack.

Frustrated, I would jut clean it all myself, having taught my children only that enough theatrics will force mom to clean everything anyways. 

But then I learned a simple phrase in our incredible Conscious Discipline parenting class (summarized in this AMAZING book). Now, my girls actively look for way to help each other and me.

It was a miracle, pure and simple. You want the magic?

Simple phrase to teach kids to help others

Here’s what you say depending on their actions:

You       (what they did )    , so    (how it helped/impact)   . That was so helpful!

This phrase points out what they did, how it’s been helpful, and it let’s them know that they have made a positive contribution to your home.

For example:

  • You gave your sister a hug after she got hurt so that she would feel better. That was so helpful!”
  • “You brought your dishes to the sink, so mama could wash it. That was so helpful!”
  • “You followed directions without complaining, so we finished quickly and everyone is happy. That was so helpful!”
  • “You put away your toys, so that no one trips on them. Plus, it’s made the room look so nice. That was so helpful!

Simple, right? But it is seriously a game-changer. Here’s why: 

Teach you kids to help out with this simple phrase.

How it helps your child:

  • Shows the child that you are noticing the good they do. It makes them feel good, which makes them want to get noticed more for helpful behavior.
  • Builds self-esteem. This points out the impact of their actions. So they can see the positive impact that they can have on the people and things around them. They see that they can make a big difference.

How it helps you:

  • It gets you noticing good behavior, instead of focusing on bad.

With all the stresses we have, often we find ourselves noticing our children’s poor behavior and completely missing the good that they do. After all, bad behavior is often more effective at getting our attention! You may not notice your children playing nicely together, but the minute conflict arises…

“Don’t bite your sister!”

“Stop hitting!”

“We do not use those words! Apologize right now!”

But pointing out poor behavior doesn’t usually result in children suddenly turning into angels. At least not in my experience.

When it comes to your child’s behavior, what you notice, you get more of.

Notice the bad, get more of it. Notice the good, and your child will work hard to get recognized for the good they are doing.

Think about how you’d react if your husband came home and the first words out of his mouth were critical about the state of the house? All while completely ignoring that you managed to keep everyone alive and put some dinner on the table (we all know this is sometimes a major feat).

Pointing out deficiencies while ignoring the positive doesn’t exactly inspire good feelings. On the other hand, we are encouraged when we hear what we are doing RIGHT.

Kids are the same way.

Keeping your eyes peeled for helpful behavior and then pointing it out to your child will result in your child looking for ways to be helpful.

While you will probably notice an immediate change, long-lasting results will come with consistently using the phrase. Which means consistently noticing good behavior and helping your child see the impact of their actions. 

Give it a try

You can teach kids to help others by noticing when they are helpful. Try this phrase out and see what happens in your family. In noticing the good your children do, you will empower them.

You will inspire your kids to look for ways to be helpful, raise their self esteem and make them aware of how they contribute.

You’ve got this, mama!

 

The Laundry Hack that Will Change Your Life

The Laundry Hack that Will Change Your Life

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

The Laundry Hack that Will Change Your Life

We’ve all done it. We’ve all gone through periods of time where life is crazy and laundry is too overwhelming. So we end digging through piles of clean laundry every time we need something.

Or wearing a swim suit because there is no clean underwear.

No one could be more guilty than me. With 4 kids, laundry has straight up been the bane of my very existence. No matter what I did, I could never escape the piles that seemed to grow like mold throughout my house. 

(Seriously, how do little bodies make sooooooo much laundry?!?!)

And while I could usually stay up on cleaning laundry, folding it was and entirely different battle altogether. So my house would be full of disorganized baskets of clean laundry.

How many hours of my life I’ve spent digging through those baskets looking for specific items and praying for a laundry fairy, I’ll never know. Laundry has been crazy overwhelming until I discovered this simple laundry hack that has turned it all around.

The simple laundry hack that will change your life.

It’s crazy simple: Spend 15 minutes a day on laundry.

I know, you’re skeptical. How could you not be? I mean, it seems like it would have to defy the laws of nature for 15 minutes a day to actually tackle your laundry.

But here’s the thing: it does. It absolutely works. My formerly skeptical friends now rock their laundry i just a few minutes a day. 

A truth I’ve come to understand more and more is this: small and consistent efforts FAR outweigh the impact of massive and sporadic efforts. And this could be no more true than in the magic of 15 minutes a day on laundry. Here’s all you do during your 15 minutes:

  • Gather up your laundry
  • Throw a load in the washer
  • Fold the load in the dryer from yesterday
  • Then at some point in the day you take 10 seconds to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer

So easy, right? It is. And it has been that magic sauce I needed to completely destroy those laundry piles. I’ll throw a podcast on my bluetooth speaker (which follows me around the house as I clean) and in no time I’m done.

Even if I skip a day, I can usually get away just picking up the next day. Worst case scenario, I run two loads the following day.

And best of all, it saves sooooo much time in the end. You’ll actually spend way less time dealing with laundry with this strategy. Here’s why.

How it saves time:

  • No more searching through piles of clean clothes
  • No more clean clothes mixing with dirty clothes as one searches wildly through baskets of clean clothes (which results in having to rewash everything because you don’t know what’s clean. Or did that just happen to me a million times?)
  • No full days of having to wash load after load after load because there is nothing clean in your house
  • No waiting around for needed clothes to come out

Do you see!?! NOT tackling laundry is actually super time consuming. Which is why this little 15 minutes a day works. You stop wasting your valuable time.

A little bit everyday = no buildup and no stress

This laundry hack has absolutely changed my life. And it can change yours too.

By biting off a little every single day, you will never let piles add up. You will always have plenty of clean items, and clean clothes will get put away quickly. As much as I hate folding clothes, if I just have to do a little bit I just rip it off like a bandaid and get it done!

With this insanely simple and doable laundry hack, you’ll totally be able to stay up with your laundry.

Don’t let piles of laundry destroy your will to live. By building 15 minutes of laundry into your daily routine you can not only stay up on laundry, but save so much time doing so. Skeptical? Just try it for a few day and see what happens.

Let me know how it goes!

 

5 Crazy Easy Ways to Fill Your Freezer With Meals

5 Crazy Easy Ways to Fill Your Freezer With Meals

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

5 Crazy Easy Ways to Fill Your Freezer With Meals

 

There are few things that are as satisfying as a freezer stocked full of meals. But you, my friend, are seriously busy. And while you are sure of the life-changing magic of meal prep, you can’t exactly block out 10 hours to make a truckload of meals.

Luckily, getting started with meal prep can be SUPER quick and easy. Franky, you don’t have time to NOT be doing these things. With a little effort here and there, you can build up a freezer full of meals.

Try as I might, I can rarely bust out a major meal prepping session these days with 4 little kids and a jam-packed schedule. Which is why I rely on these crazy easy methods to fill up my freezer with easy-to-prepare meals.

Crazy easy meal prep ideas for beginners

1) Marinated Chicken Breasts

When suddenly dinner time hits and you’re scouring the internet for recipes, do you ever run into recipes that sounds amazing but involve chicken marinating all day? Ooof. That’s the worst.

Then the pictures taunt you saying “Hey mama, if you could just be a little more on top of it, you could be having a tasty dinner.”

That’s is why this strategy is one of my favorites. In mere minutes, you can create delicious marinated chicken for several meals that can be easily thawed and prepared. You get all the flavor of chicken marinating all day, but with very little effort and planning. It makes throwing together a dinner quick and easy.

Here’s what I do:

When there’s a good sale on chicken breasts or tenders, I LOAD up. Like awkward-looks-from-everyone load up. I then take them home, divide them into quart freezer bags (which I label before filling).

Then in each bag, I throw in some marinade. It can be as easy as bottled BBQ sauce or another store bought marinade.

Or, if you have a few extra minutes, you can make your own in just a couple of minutes. This is one of my go-to marinades:

Tasty Asian Marinade (for about 1-2 lbs chicken)

  • ⅓ c. soy sauce
  • ⅓ c. oil
  • ⅓ c. honey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pepper to taste

I literally throw all the ingredients in to this amazing little processor (which I use almost daily), blend, and then pour them into the bags of chicken.

But you can use ANY marinade that your family loves. Here are some other marinade recipes with ingredients I simply throw into my mini food processor (no need to chop, slice, mince or whatever!).

Once you’ve got your chicken and marinade into bags, seal trying to get all the air out. Then lay flat in the freezer. Just pull out what you want and thaw before cooking it up. 

So stinkin’ easy.

Crazy easy meal prep ideas for beginners

2) Spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti sauce is super easy to make, freezes like a champ, and defrosts quickly. Which means that you can throw a dinner together in mere minutes.

On a night I plan to make spaghetti, I’ll triple or quadruple my favorite spaghetti sauce in my electric skillet, let it simmer, and then divide them into quart freezer bags. Once completely cool, I seal the bags and lay them flat in the freezer.

When I need a meal in a hurry, this is perfect. I can defrost a bag of sauce under running water in minutes and then heat it up in a saucepan while I cook up some pasta. And BOOM: a homemade meal in just minutes.

3) Shredded Beef

If your family likes Mexican food (mine does), getting a big roast and making a crockpot full of shredded beef is the way to go. Divide into quart freezer bags and freeze. When you’re ready to use it, you can then throw it in burritos, on rice bowls, in quesadillas, or on top of nachos.

We love this Barbacoa Beef recipe from The Recipe Critic.

4) Muffins

Don’t underestimate the power of a muffin to change your mornings.

Sounds extreme? Well, having them for breakfast for my kids has literally saved my sanity in daily chaos of my mornings. Feeding 4 kids 6 and under is no joke. And they need to be fed. All. The. Time.

Thus enters The Miraculous Muffin.

Muffins are quick and easy to make and freeze perfectly in gallon freezer bags. Plus you can stuff them full of whole grains and your kids won’t be the wiser.

You can then just pop them out of the freezer, one-by-one and stick ‘em in the microwave for 30 seconds. And BOOM, you’ve got an instant breakfast or snack.

These Healthy Pumpkin Muffins from Cookie & Kate are our current family favorite.  Need some more healthy muffin ideas? Check out these easy recipes that simplify our mornings.

5) Waffles

If you’ve ever been seduced by the convenience of an Eggo waffle, then you’ll want to try this out. It’s infinitely cheaper and a waaaay healthier option.

On a morning you’re making waffles anyways (usually weekends at our house), double or triple (or more) the recipe.

Cook up all the waffles and stack the remainder in gallon freezer bags. To avoid sticking to each other, you can place a small piece of parchment paper between each waffle.

When you’re ready to eat, just pull them out and either microwave for 30 seconds or stick in the toaster. I also do the exact same thing with pancakes. 

A stocked freezer, a few minutes at a time

Filling your freezer full of meals doesn’t have to be some overwhelming endeavor. But it WILL make your life so much easier and reduce your stress level. With these simple strategies, no matter how busy you are, you can create a regular routine of meal prep. With a few minutes here and there, you can create a freezer meal stash that will save you time, money, and fill you with deep satisfaction.

You’ve got this!

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect at-Home Workout for Crazy Busy Moms

The Perfect at-Home Workout for Crazy Busy Moms

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

The Perfect At-Home Workout for Busy Moms

After the birth of my first kid, I was bound and determined to get into great shape despite cancelling my gym membership. With barrels of motivation, an extra 30 lbs, and a set of P90X DVDs, I set out to work.

But adjusting to mom life and trying to fit in a super long at-home workout was seriously tough. I’d get my baby sleeping in the swing, and then hit play. I’d get my sweat on, only to hit pause 20 minutes later when my baby started to cry.

Some days, it’d take hitting pause a dozen times to be able to actually get through the entire workout.

Then I found out I was pregnant again. And before I knew it, I had a 14 month old and a newborn. Working out at all seemed daunting with 2 little ones. So how on earth would I be able to block out an uninterrupted hour plus to fit in a workout? 

That’s when I found Shaun T’s T25, which was a total game-changer. Ten minutes into my first workout and I felt like I’d worked out for 45 minutes.

And before I knew it, the 25 minutes was up and I felt like I’d just conquered the world. All I needed to do was muster the energy to hit “play” 5 times a week, and I experienced some incredible changes in my health.

Suddenly daily exercise was far less daunting. With eleven 25 minute workouts to choose from, I had plenty of different options depending on my mood (and soreness level!).

Here’s why I think you might just love T25 too:

T25 is the perfect workout at home for busy moms

T25 is the perfect workout for busy moms

 

What You Get

  • 9 DVDs
  • 11–25 minute workouts that mostly require ZERO equipment
  • Loads of intense cardio
  • strength training for every muscle group
  • 3 minute cooldown after each workout

Why It’s AWESOME

1. The workouts go by soooo fast.

Twenty-five minutes is nothing, my friend. But those 25 minutes a few times a week will bring huge changes to how you feel. Since each workout is broken up into exercises that you do for 30-45 seconds, there’s no time to get bored and the 25 minutes really do fly by.

2. You just have to press “play”.

No need to load up your kids and go to a gym. Or research and plan a workout. You don’t even have to put on workout clothes! Honestly, some days I’d just do it in my skivvies not wanting to dirty any extra laundry. You just gotta hit “play”.

3. Shaun T is delightful.

While I’m sure they exist, I haven’t yet met anyone who doesn’t like Shaun T. He’s engaging and super motivating. I just listened to him on a podcast and it just made me love him more.

4. Modifiers make it so you can do it at many levels.

When I first started, I used a LOT of the modifiers. But as I got in better shape I was able to drop them. It’s great because you can be at a variety of fitness levels and still get a killer workout.

5. You don’t have to follow the 10-week plan.

If following a plan works for you, then you’ve got one included in the DVD set. 

But if the thought of being locked into a plan stresses you out, no sweat. You can create your own routine. You’ve got 11 great workouts to choose from. If your goal is to work out 4 days a week, then pick out 4 workouts you want to do and press play 4 times.

Do the workouts you want to do.  Or you can switch up the workouts with running/walking. The options are endless.

6. You don’t need a bunch of equipment.

Most of the workouts just use body weight and a whole lotta sweat. A few call for a mat (for ab stuff) and a set of weights or a band (which actually comes with the DVDs).

7. You get an hour’s worth of workout crammed into 25 minutes.

With just 24 hours a day to work with, I’m always looking to use my time as efficenitly as possible. WHen it comes to getting a fabulous and quick workout, I don’t know of anything better.

8. Easy to workout before kids are up.

I’m a big believer in making the most of the morning hours and especially morning exercise, especially doing it before your kids are up. Because the workout is so quick, you can get up just 30 minutes earlier and be done with exercise for the day with no distractions and children demanding to be fed breakfast.

T25 is the perfect at-home workout for busy moms

 

Why it may NOT be for you

While amazing, these are legitimately intense workouts. You get a serious bang for your buck, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Literally. If you have a health issue or are completely starting from ground zero exercise-wise, these might not be the best exercises to start with. As always, be safe and smart about how you pursue greater health and consult a doctor is you’re unsure.

T25 is Awesome

But if you’re ready for some uh-mazing workouts that you can quickly fit in whenever you want in the privacy of your living room, then T25 might be answer you’re looking for. It’s the perfect way for crazy-busy moms to get in regular exercise without forking over the money for a gym membership.

Have you tried the workouts? Let me know what you thought of them.

 

 

 

Why You Need to be Listening to Podcasts

Why You Need to be Listening to Podcasts

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Why You Need to be Listening to Podcasts

Being a mom of small kids means your brain is probably full of Disney lyrics and wistful thoughts about napping. Or being alone for 5 minutes. Sometimes, you feel like your “mom brain” is turning to mush, held hostage by the sounds of children’s TV programing and the constant hum of whining or asking for snacks.

But don’t despair: podcasts to the rescue.

For me, podcasts are the antidote to the crazy, “blah,” mom brain that often accompanies long days devoted to raising small kids. They are the perfect way for busy moms to be entertained and learn new things, without taking up any extra time in the day.  

Seriously, they will change your life. Here’s why:

1. They’re free.

Um, can I get a “heck, yes”!?! When I discovered that I could download any of the bazillions of podcasts out there FOR FREE I felt like stumbled on the greatest thing in the world.

It was like a master baker moved in next door and would bring me free pastries and fresh bread everyday. But it’s even better because you can’t get fat off of podcasts!

2. You can listen as you do all the stuff you’re gonna do anyways.

Whether cleaning your house, going for a run, folding laundry, or driving your kids to soccer, you can be feeding your brain and soul with the goodness of podcasts.

Through a podcast app, you can download them straight to your phone. Then you can sync it to a portable bluetooth speaker, throw on headphones, or connect it to your dashboard. You can listen anywhere while doing just about anything.

Seriously, you’ll actually look forward to folding clothes and mopping your floor when you can listen to your favorite podcasts.

Podcasts are amazing for moms

3. There is a podcast for EVERYTHING.

When it comes to podcasts, there is an insane amount of variety. Comedy, parenting, health and fitness, history, true crime, motivational–whatever you’re looking for, there’s a podcast that’ll knock your socks off. Here are some of my all-around favorites.  

Need a quick place to start? Check out any of these crazy-addictive series:

Oh, and there’s even podcasts for kids! My kids love to listen to “Wow in the World”. It’s hilarious and educational.

There is literally no end to the amazingness and variety of podcasts at your fingertips.

4. You get to learn awesome stuff & be inspired.

Which, at the end of the day, just makes you a better mom. I’m always learning stuff that helps informs my parenting or helps me be more understanding of people who are different than me.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that podcasts have changed my life. Listening to podcasts is what inspired me to start this blog, try intermittent fasting (which helped me lose 30 lbs), and keeps me informed about the world around me. If I could hug podcasts, I would. 

Basically, podcasts are the bee’s knees.

While they’re great for most everyone, podcasts are an especially amazing resource for busy moms. You can feed your brain as you go about your day doin’ your thing. Check out Apple Podcasts or Stitcher and bring this amazing force into your life. Start with one of the addictive series I mentioned and then tell me all about how obsessed you are (because you will be). 

Listen on, mama!