Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow expectations...letting go of unrealistic expectations

Expectations are a funny thing.  I live in a suburb of Philadelphia. Yesterday, meteorologists and media were going crazy about the "Blizzard of 2015".  They declared states of emergency in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  FORTUNATELY, the storm missed us! However, there were a lot of unhappy people.  My friends on Facebook were posting "How can my daycare be closed?!" Another person said, "Meteorologists know nothing..my kids are so disappointed!" and it went on and on.

There are 2 things that are going through my head about this...

First...how often in life are we disappointed because our expectations aren't being met?  I'm not someone that says that you shouldn't have expectations (because I believe expectations are a good thing...a great thing actually)
While high expectations are a good thing, we need to remember that shit happens and things don't always go as planned.  Having unrealistic expectations is going to cause you stress, heartache, and disappointment.  When we put our fate in the hands of meteorologists, for example, we may be disappointed.  How often do you put your fate in other people's hands?  How can you become more resilient? Are your expectations realistic?  Do we expect meteorologists to give us an accurate weather forecast because that's their job?  Yes, but until we try to figure out weather patterns on our own, who are we to judge how well they can predict weather patterns successfully?  If you don't like what they have to say, then don't watch the weather! Otherwise, be happy that they at least give us an idea of what to expect.

The second thing that goes through my mind about this topic is resiliency...I believe that the most successful people are the most resilient.  These people DO have expectations (they use contracts and hold people accountable) but when things don't go exactly as planned (such as mother nature) they aren't stressed out or heart broken about it. They have a sense of humor and roll with the punches. Last year, my kids school district did a hilarious YouTube video about the crazy winter we were having.  I thought this was a brilliant way to make light of a frustrating situation.  Not only is humor a great way to cope with these frustrations but gratitude will allow you to be more resilient and realistic about your expectations.  For instance, instead of being mad that your flight was cancelled, why not be happy that you have a day off? Why not be happy the last year the meteorologists were right 90% of the time getting you where you needed to go safely.  Isn't technology great? Can't we be happy that people care enough about our safety to cancel things that may be dangerous for ourselves or our children?

Finally, how often are we transferring our OWN frustrations onto other people?  If we got hammered with snow, I have a feeling that many of the above people would still be mad...saying things like "How am I supposed to get work done with kids?" or "I'm so tired of this WINTER! When will it be over?"  Maybe the truth is that they are frustrated with their own lives and it's easy to take it out on someone else?

When I find myself extremely frustrated it's often about my own frustrations and little about the other person.  I remember when I was in therapy after my divorce I was telling my therapist how mad I was at my ex husband and she said, "Are you mad at HIM or are you really mad that you're a single mom and life wasn't supposed to be like this?" That was a huge moment for me.  A real AHA moment.  I wonder if any of you can identify with this?  Sometimes it's easier for us to be mad at someone else than it is about a certain situation or maybe even ourselves?

How do you feel about expectations?  I would love to hear in the comments below!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What Can We Learn from Men about Parenting?

Men often get a bad rap when it comes to parenting (and homemaking) but the truth is we can learn a lot from them!

Not everyone is born knowing how to play with kids.  Just because you don't always know how to relate to kids (or play with them) doesn't mean you're not a good parent.  Sometimes, we just need to step out of the box and learn a magic trick, make a funny dance or take silly selfies on your phone with your kids.
*If you want more ideas about playing with kids...check out How to get kids to play games with you

2.  COMPARTMENTALIZE.  I think the biggest thing we can learn from men is how to compartmentalize and be in the moment.  Men don't often hold resentment, juggle 10 things, stay up at night trying to perfect a situation, or try to be a rock star every moment!  It's ok to not make everything on Pinterest or make $5 from consignment. Sometimes we need to cut our losses.

If you're in Target with your 2 year old and she throws a tantrum, don't worry about what everyone else is thinking.  Do what you need to do and have a sense of humor about it.  All parents have experienced this at one time or another.  Chances are everyone is thinking "been there" not "she's a horrible mother!"  By the way, those thoughts that say "You're a bad mom"should never come into you're brain! You need to always tell yourself you're an awesome mom, even if you make a mistake!! Be kind to you mama!! 

Men don't take things to heart when their child says "I hate you" or "you're the meanest Dad in the world" so why do moms? 99% of the time children say these things as an attempt to manipulate and get in the drivers seat and often we allow it to pull on our heart strings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A peek into my life...

I've decided to start something new!!  I am going to be writing some posts about what's happening in my life.  You know like the stuff we all go through on a daily basis!  For example, I just found a deal on cable/internet and phone for $60.00/month (read below) and how I waited until Martin Luther King day to take down my Christmas decorations. (Please tell me I'm not the only one!)  I will be writing up about daily struggles and/or habits and I'm hoping that this will make my connection stronger with all of you!! As always, if you like my content, I would love your feedback in the comments below (or a reply on social media channels!). Believe it or not, these responses REALLY help me grow my blog and reach more people!


The holidays were great for myself and my family.  The first week in January I was lucky enough to travel to CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Vegas on a business trip.  What the heck does she do? You might ask!  I am an administrative assistant/marketing assistant for KT Trade in Exton, PA.  KT Trade is a very successful business in Turkey which is now expanding into US markets.   I learned a lot on my second business trip!  I saw a lot of interesting products and listened to my boss connect with potential business partners and investors.  In addition, I learned that traveling for business means you should rush, rush, rush, then stop and sit for long periods of time, rush, rush rush, then sit.  It's hilarious to me that when they announce that you can take off your seat belts on the plane for example everyone scurries really fast and stands up then waits!!  Side note: I also find it very interesting that people are so busy with their nose in their tablets that they don't even take time to look around them!  I think I was the only person on the plane looking at the Grand Canyon when we were landing!  

Sometimes it's hard to believe I was home with the kids just 8 months ago.  Being a stay at home mom is definitely a harder job by the way!! I was missing the kids like crazy but really enjoyed the 65 degree temps and the opportunity to expand my business knowledge at CES.  Unfortunately, I lost my Android tablet on the plane when I put it in the pocket of the seat in front of me on the airplane! DOH!

Well, here we are in the third week of January and this time of year is crazy in the Northeast.  November and December are so pretty and fun...holidays parties, pretty lights, and festive activities and then January comes with ice, snow, and sicknesses.  It's easy to get depressed this time of year but I really try to look on the bright side!

What's so bright about Winter you ask??

Well, for most of us, Winter is the only time that our schedules aren't jammed packed with parties, events, and activities.  This means that we have time to just be.  Sometimes its hard for us to slow down (when we've been moving so fast) but it's important and essential for good health and well being.  In today's fast paced world it's so easy to stay busy and never stop and actually think or reflect about what we need and what we want.  Michael Hyatt did a great podcast about this called How to regain interior margin through the practice of stillness.  I also enjoyed reading this post 10 Ways to beat the Winter Blues.  If we take the time to really think about what we're doing, eating, and even how we're reacting to things, we can really get a great start to the new year and a better handle on life.  Winter is a great time to really think about those New Years Resolutions and goals for creating the life you want (and need).

As far as Winter activities for the kids, the girls and I have made videos with my smart phone, created obstacle courses, baked cookies, and read a lot of books together.  Last week we had my Mom over for dinner and just spent quality time together.  Sienna and I had a date at the Caln Roller Rink and it was SOOO fun (and dirt cheap!).  I was reliving my childhood memories (that place has not changed in 25 years!!)  I also cleaned out my basement and got rid of a lot of things that I really didn't need anymore.  Another thing I did was reorganize my budget and I got a great deal for Comcast cable, WIFI, and home phone all for $60.00! Woo hoo! That made me happy!  It's amazing what you can find when you take the time to ask yourself how you can do things better! Winter is a great time for that!

I'm really attempting to embrace the Winter and appreciate it for what it is. What do you like about the Winter?  I would love to hear your ideas!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Clever ways to tell your FAMILY you're pregnant

OK...you've told Daddy, now it's time to tell the world you're preggo! CONGRATS!!!
I know, I know...you want to run to Facebook right now and scream it to the world but wait just a minute young lady...you don't get to do this many times in your life so let's make it awesome and have some fun! OK?

If you're feeling cutsie, this idea would be perfect!

Check out this funny way to announce baby #2

Looking for simple and cute? This will do the trick!

Why not make a video? This would take a lot of time and effort but it's so freakin' cute! You HAVE to watch it!

Looking for something a bit sentimental? This will be PERFECT!

If you're a 'DIY girl' or maybe 'shabby chic' describes you..
check out what the Dating Divas put together...

Looking for more ideas about pregnancy and parenting?? 
Join our Pregnancy, newborns, and babies group on Pinterest....I'm telling you...you're gonna love it!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Why I'm filing an extension for my New Years Resolution

I love the new year.  I love having a chance to start over and what better time to do that than an official new year?!  It's exciting, liberating, and rejuvenating all at the same time, however, we get so busy with the holidays that we basically stumble into the new year without giving much thought about what we TRULY want to change and improve in our lives.  Most new years resolutions are to lose weight (especially after all those cookies and egg nog) or save money because we are feeling guilty about using charge cards to buy presents that we can't afford).  At this moment my mailbox is full of weight loss offers, diet medications, and gym memberships.
Statistics show that only 8% of people are successful attaining their new years resolutions.  We all know that the gyms start getting empty in February and March, right?  So the question becomes how important is it?  Do we really want to make a change? If we TRULY want to make a change in our lives, wouldn't we think long and hard about what that will look like? Wouldn't we make a plan, ask for help, and picture ourselves having already attained the goal (research shows that people are more successful attaining their goals when they picture themselves that way or consider themselves a "non smoker" for instance.)
What better time to take a personal audit and make a plan for the upcoming year than January and February?  The truth is the ONLY thing that I really like about the Winter is that it's a great time to be quiet, still, and reflect on 2014.  Here in the Northeast, it's a time when we're forced to be inside and the days are shorter.  It's a great time to really think about what we're doing, how we can do better, and what kind of legacy where leaving behind us.  If we never figure out WHY we've done the things that we are doing than it's really hard to change the behavior.  For instance, if we know that we are eating unhealthy foods because we're feeling stressed, how can we create a life with lower stress?  Maybe it will help to look at the bigger picture?  Also, how much better would you feel if you started replacing healthier foods with crappy foods?  What would a happier, healthier you look like?  Don't they say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again? So, why do we keep making the same new years resolution without making a plan?
After listening to a million podcasts about productivity, self improvement, and goal setting in the past few months...I've come up with a few tips that seemed to make sense...

 Here are a few
1.  Make a 90 day plan instead of a yearly one.  Businesses to quarterly plans for a reason, it works.  Planning for 90 days is a lot easier than planning for a year, not to mention much less overwhelming.
2.  Share your goal with a few people.  No need to post on social media to everyone but confiding in a few people that are supportive and loving with help you in your journey.
3.  Aim for 80% goal.  If your goal is to lose 10 lbs, don't be upset if you aren't perfect and only reach 8 lbs.  The goal is progress, not perfection.
4.  Make it fun.  If your goal is to save money, you may be amazed at how many free things you can find in your neighborhood.
5.  Focus on how you will feel when your goal is reached.  What difference will it make in your life?
Michael Hyatt says, "A goal is not about what you accomplish, it's about what you become."
I would love to hear your ideas about how you plan to make your resolutions a reality!  How can I help you? Please comment below!

**Looking for more motivation?  Check out my videos on my YouTube channel! You can also join my GUMPTION email list by clicking here for tips and motivation for creating the life you want and need!