Travel Resources For The Home Essentialist

In honor of the beginning of summer travel, as well as my current trip to EntreLeadership Summit with my husband, here is a refresher on some of my top travel resources for the Home Essentialist.

Travel Resources For The Home Essentialist

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Find out why we make it a priority to travel together and why your role is important to success!

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Viewing business travel as an investment in your family’s success makes all the difference!

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Use Siri reminders to help you remember what to pack and what time to check in to your flight.

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There is no better airline for traveling with kids than Southwest. Here’s your step by step plan.

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Traveling to a big city? Amazon Prime Now can deliver to your hotel or travel location just as easily as your home.

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What could be better than having your groceries delivered to your vacation rental?

























Bookmark this post for your next trip and be the hero by sharing it with your friends!

Join The Conversation: What other travel resources do you have questions about? Any special travel tips you could share? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was A Mom

Here are the top 10 things I wish I knew before I was a Mom.

(Some of which may or may not be a little sarcastic.  Please don’t take me too seriously. A Mom needs a laugh, too.)

10. Invest in Band-Aids.

Invest for your financial investments, invest in your supply at home, invest in using the term band-aid in your vernacular. Band-Aid is synonymous with all sorts of magic that I did not know existed prior to motherhood. Well, I guess I might have known as a child, but I had long since forgotten. Trust me. You will want lots, and lots, and LOTS, and LOTS of Band-Aids around. (P.S. Your kid will know if you go the cheap route before the age of 2. They want cute pictures and colors and all the feels.) Prepare to have band-aids used as stickers at least at some point. Just mentally flush $10 down the drain a few times, and have a bottle of Goo-Gone on hand; it will help when you discover the sticky mess. Remember the cheap band-aids I told you to avoid?  THIS IS WHY.

9. You will spend more time in the kitchen than you ever thought possible.

No one tells you this. No matter if you are a “stay at home,” “work at home,” “work from there,” woman, you might as well just make peace that the kitchen will be your 2nd home within your home. Sometimes the fridge is all you need for 2 seconds of peace and a cool breeze. But someone is always hungry (or hangry), something needs to be cooked, cleaned, reheated, put away, made, picked up, organized, etc., and someone is always thirsty. If none of those are true, a little someone will be systematically pulling out every piece of tupperware from your cabinets and throwing it all over the kitchen. Try not to slip on a tupperware lid. The aftermath of that is NOT pretty.

8. You will FINALLY get everything figured out, only for something to change the next second, and throw off everything you just figured out.

Having sleep issues with your newborn? Get it “figured out,” and suddenly they think they need a tooth?! Got your toddler’s eating “figured out,” suddenly they decide to go on strike and you worry like CRAZY and go “figure it out” all over again. Finally get that nap schedule down? Goodness, they want to drop a nap!?! FINALLY get your workout back into the rhythm? Don’t worry, your child will finally figure out how to interrupt that valiant effort, too. But goodness, they are CUTE when they do.

7. There is no pause button in parenting.

Seriously, I’ve looked and I just can’t find it anywhere. Sometimes, my husband and I will just stare at each other; all we want is just to pause, even just 30 seconds, take a deep breath and start again. But. it. does. not. exist. Once you start this whole parenting journey, there’s no going back. So, when you are sweetly wishing for a baby to hold and dreaming of bathing a newborn and getting them into jammies and how sweet that will be, just remember that once it starts, it just can’t stop.

6. You become ‘old’ instantaneously. (at least in regards to sleep)

Suddenly bedtime for kids = bedtime for adults. Why did I ever make fun of my parents for going to bed early? 7:30 PM is a delightful bedtime. Yes, I know it is still light outside, and you can hear your friends playing basketball, and the sun is showing through the cracks in your blinds. (When do the black out shades get here?) But it is BEDTIME IN THIS HOUSE! How I wish I took all the naps I had been offered as a child. It’s not strange to lecture your 4 year old about the regrets of not napping, right?

5. The pressure of the responsibility for over 60 fingernails and toenails can be quite overwhelming.

Why do they not cover this in school? Or birth class? Or provide a nail trimming certification like CPR? Seriously, the amount of mom guilt I have for basically clipping the tip off of my newborns’ finger, forever will haunt me. Please, for the love of nail hygiene, revolt and petition your local municipalities to provide training for this. It affects us all.

4. Never (and I mean never!) ever will you look at wearing a seatbelt the same way.

The simple ease of getting in the car and pulling on that nice thick piece of fabric and hugging it around you with a delightful click at the end…will change. Now, you will have to endure multiple people all having multiple ways of handling this everyday thrill. Some despise it and will use a full frontal assault to escape the dire situation. Did I mention, said person will be only a few MONTHS old? Others will demand full and complete autonomy which may or may not last the entire amount of time you had planned to be gone in the car in the first place. Still others will enjoy this simple accomplishment so much, they want to repeat the experience multiple times in one sitting, which means you get to do the same thing, too. I think we could sell a workout series entitled “Seatbelt Mania With Toddlers.” Anyone interested?

3. The administrative effort to handle a simple preschool or mother’s day out program will make you think twice before enrolling.

Maybe with one child you will get this down with only minor hiccups, but with any additional children, you are likely to fall prey to one of the following phenomenon. 1) Have child all dolled up for the wrong picture day or have them still in their pjs with breakfast still on their face on the correct picture day. 2) Go to the wrong school to pick your child up. 3) Forget your child’s ______ (insert anything you like: lovey, sippy cup, folder, lunchbox, jacket, toy, etc) and your child will make you feel like you lost your mom card. But seriously, 5 hours twice a week is worth it’s weight in GOLD. So suck it up sistas. Just remember to register what feels like a YEAR in advance.

2. Cooking now looks like “playing kitchen” with little ones.

Gone are the days of dreaming up a gourmet meal that you peacefully enjoy making and no one whines or complains about it. I’m told they will be back, but I have not yet arrived.  Oh the joys of teaching little ones to “help” in the kitchen.  ‘Dump, Dump, Stir’ works great.  Just be careful of what you are dumping and tall sides on the bowls do help tremendously. The amount of effort, guilt, time, thought, energy, dishes, mess, cleanup involved, will make you wonder why we have to eat every. single. day. Can’t we just be satisfied with dinner once a week? It would make life so much more simple.

1. I’m perfect for this.

Yes, this is probably the most important thing I wish I knew before I was a Mom.  Not just good, or okay, but perfect. It’s easy to believe, hear, feel, think and know, that you have no idea what you are doing, you are not cut out for this, you will never make it, and you are a horrible mom. And you know what? That’s pretty normal, as there are many moments those all really feel true. Why wouldn’t it? What you do is so important that it is easy to feel responsible, and pressured and overwhelmed. But the reality is, you were made to do this. And you are perfect for your little family. Flaws and all. Sure, we have some growing up to do, and we will make lots and lots of mistakes. But God knows that. And whatever journey He has you and your child on, you can rest assured that He’s paired the two or three or four or ten of you together for a very good reason.

Cheers to motherhood!

Join The Conversation: What is something you wish you knew before you were a mom? If you are not a mom, what is something you wish mom’s knew? We can all learn from each other! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Do You Know What Your Husband Does?

A Soapbox About Wives And Their Man’s Job

Warning, I’m a little irritated. I’m blogging about this because I believe it is so important. I am hoping to turn my irritation into inspiration. Humor me, would you?

Do You Know What Your Husband Does?

I am simply astounded that many women have no clue what their husband does for a living. We know he leaves each morning, where his office is located, his title, maybe general information about his field, and whether he makes it home “on time” at night, but fail to understand his job, what he actually does during the day, and where he is excelling or struggling at any given moment in his career.  I have seen this often in busy, intelligent, women who work at home but have also witnessed this with extremely driven and smart women who have high-stakes careers outside of the home.

When did it become ok to say, “I know he works hard, but I just do not understand what he does, so I quit trying long ago.” WHAT?!?!? Seriously??? That is such a cop out. You are his WIFE! There is only one of you. You signed up for better or for worse. You are a gift to your husband, his best friend, his confidant, but you have checked out of one of the most crucial areas of his life.

Let’s all wake up to the reality that most of our husbands spend more time during the day away from us than they do with us, working for us and our families, to provide for us and love us through their work. And many men have attached their identity to their career. To not understand our husband’s identity (whether we agree with it or not), is a crucial miss in our marriages.

I also know that this phenomenon also highlights a lot of insecurities we have as women. We may feel insecure about our choices to work inside or outside the home, our intelligence, our vocabulary, our math skills, or our understanding of the world. But, we must press through this. If we do not understand something, we must make the choice to ask. Let me introduce you to my friends Google and Wikipedia. They are available 24/7 for your asking and research pleasure. 🙂 You may just impress that husband of yours!

Here’s An Example:

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When Life Happens To The Best Of Us

How To Overcome Disappointment, Discouragement & Desperation

It’s almost comical. Except that it’s not. I’m about to just write off January altogether. It’s simply not my favorite and it has not gone “according to plan.” Sometimes, life happens. Am I the only one?

And once again, I have found myself with a discouraging set of circumstances to start off the new year, and an attitude to match. Something about the cold, bare, stripped away season of winter, gets under my skin. Some years, I beat back the winter shadow with sheer determination and embrace the “magical joy” of winter. But it is simply not my first love. And this year, I’m weary. I feel like most days lately, are filled with me trudging through the motions just to make something happen. So it’s apropos that I came across this from last year. I’m reading and taking my own advice today. Want to join me? Continue Reading>>

Gain Perspective During The Holidays

Inspiration From A Home Essentialist

In continuation of the “gain perspective” theme this holiday season, I thought I would change it up a bit and shine a light on a heart warming story of a woman living out what it means to be a Home Essentialist in really challenging circumstances. She is simply killing it in her role and her perspective is phenomenal.

Your circumstances may be challenging, too. It is not always easy to do what we do day in and day out with excellence. Some days you just need a bit of inspiration or encouragement to help put some wind in your sails.

The following clip of Cinthya telling her story to Dave Ramsey is about as inspirational as it gets. You might want to grab some kleenex before watching this one. Continue Reading>>

5 Things To Forget About This Holiday Season

Tips to ENJOY the holidays

I can remember the year I got exactly what I wanted for Christmas. An aqua huffy “big girl” bike with pink accents, white tires and basket, with Spokey Dokeys on the tires. I think I saw angels, and glitter, and all things sparkly and girly in the moment of surprise. It was also the year I figured out that Santa wasn’t real. Funny that what I wanted was on the list I gave him. My parents left the box in the garage and didn’t do a great job with a cover story. Of course I immediately felt good about myself that I had figured it out and moved on.

If you are like me, you might have some mixed emotions about the holiday season. I LOVE Fall and the anticipation of the holidays, but sometimes my expectations get the best of me and I end up not really living in the holiday season. Many times, I just survive. So this year, I am intentionally making it a point to forget about 5 things this holiday season to help me enjoy it more.

5 Things To Forget About This Holiday Season

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3 Tips To Make ‘Christmas Carding’ Easier

So it’s that time of year again…

If you are like me, you love the adorable Christmas cards that come from your friends and family all over the world. And you like to express your personality in your own card and creatively display them in your home, right? Do you have the wire Christmas tree, or wreath, or star that you stick them in? Or a certain basket, or the little wire stand that you hang them on, or are you like me, with the cutesy ribbon and clothespins hanging on the wall? Are you an ‘address them over Thanksgiving’ kind of person or ‘forget all about it and frantically searching for a picture or photographer the first week (or third week) of December’ kind of person?

No matter your style, there is one bit of information crucial to successful ‘Christmas Carding’. The correct address! And rather than trying to dig through old emails or messaging everyone last minute to update your address list, make it a habit to update it all year long.

Here are 3 tips to help make ‘Christmas Carding’ easier:

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Exciting Announcement! You Are Essential Store Launch

PREORDER Sales Start Today

I am so excited to announce the launch of the You Are Essential Store. Beginning today, one of my dreams is coming true!!

I want to be a voice in the world that communicates to women, “You Are Essential!”

I want to believe it myself.

I want my daughters to believe it.  I want my friends, my Mom, my sister-in-laws and my daughters’ friends to believe it.

I want the single woman, the single mom, the lonely wife, the estranged mother, the prodigal daughter, the birth mom, and the adopted child to believe it.

I want the homeless woman on the street, the woman stuck in human-trafficking, the orphaned child, the poverty stricken, the suicidal to believe it.

I want the beautiful, the popular, the scared, the anxious, the hopeful and the hopeless to believe it.

Will YOU believe it?

Will you commit to thinking of yourself as essential?  Will you commit to reminding yourself, “You Are Essential?” Will you help me spread the “You Are Essential” message?

I’ve curated a few prints with lettering by my amazingly talented friend, Lindsay, to place by your kitchen sink or your bathroom mirror, or to hang by your bedside or where you hang your car keys.  I hope this is a reminder to you to live out the truth that you matter, you are important, “You Are Essential.”

So who in your life needs to know “You Are Essential” right now? Is it you, or your mom, sister, daughter, friend, teacher, coach, hair dresser, pastor, leader, boss, employee, postal carrier, bus driver, etc? Or any gentlemen out there? What about YOUR wife?

If we all just communicated to each other, “You Are Essential,” how many smiles could we see, days could we brighten, rays of hope could we spread? How many depressed, lonely women could we encourage? How many suicides, school shootings, and desperate acts could we prevent? How many adoptions could we support, marriages could we save, and kids could we rescue? It’s a small phrase that makes a BIG difference.

So let’s start spreading the word (#YouAreEssential). Purchase a “You Are Essential” item in the store for yourself or someone who needs to hear it from you. Join me on my mission to encourage women!

TAKE A PEEK at the STORE here.

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What Women Need To Hear

Three Words That Matter Immensely

I don’t know about you, but at different times in my life, I have really questioned my place, my purpose, and my value. Nothing prepared me for the highs and lows of the last several years. And no amount of knowledge or expectation helped me walk that journey completely unscathed.

In the span of a few short years, I had the opportunity to work through a variety of some of life’s biggest challenges. I left a job I loved, my husband and I were forced to move out of a house we loved, we faced difficulties of getting pregnant, had some relational challenges outside of our control, did a major home renovation, moved, had our first child, faced health issues, suddenly lost my best friend, went through a complicated second pregnancy and birth (only 20 months after the first), moved again, dealt with anxiety, discovered food allergy issues, and saw marriage strain from utter exhaustion of having two kids under age 2.

Life is hard ya’ll. But, you know this. Some seasons are harder than others. Sometimes we are stronger than others. Sometimes we are learning a lesson for the first time, and sometimes it’s the tenth time and we are sick. of. it. Continue Reading>>

When Is It Okay To Hire Help?

5 Questions To Help You Decide

In our family, when our home feels chaotic, messy and out of control, we feel that way too. Imagine if your desk at work was covered in toys, laundry, food crumbs, and piles of paperwork. Could you do your best work in that environment? (If so, please tell me your secrets!) Now, my definition of clean has taken several HUGE steps down the continuum towards imperfection rather than perfection, but it still needs to be cleaned every once in awhile. Boys, anyone? Soap scum? Fingerprints everywhere? When I have a clean house, I feel more relaxed, focused, and patient. Everyone in my family benefits! Sometimes, however, life throws you some curve balls or gets really, really full and the beautiful peaceful home that you love, becomes a nightmare of to do lists and you just can’t get it all done. You need some help! But, when is it okay to hire help?

If you are wondering if it is okay to hire help, here are 5 questions to help you decide:

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