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Archive for October, 2009

Breaking Free From Negative Thoughts

October 30, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Have you ever had a negative thought? Have you ever uttered it out loud, even in jest? Most of us have. More importantly, more often than we’d like to admit. Negative thinking can be damaging not only to our self-esteem, but can begin a cycle of thought and behavior which negatively impacts our own perception of events in our lives.

For example: Perhaps you’ve been assigned a special project at work. You’re confident in taking it on, but upon completion you notice one tiny error. You begin to berate the way in which you handled the project, even though the error was not significant. While your boss is telling you what a great job you’ve done, you begin to make excuses for it. Your negativity has minimized the entire project, and magnified one area of it.

What steps can you take to avoid this pattern? Take a step back and look at the project objectively. Not only did you complete it in an efficient manner, but it will become the template for future projects. Forget about the mistake; think about what you’ve achieved.

The holidays are approaching and you need to begin the house-cleaning project. You look around and decide it’s just too much; you can’t do it; why bother. Stop! Take a deep breath and consider dividing up the tasks. Enlist the aid of your family to help by assigning each one a specific job. Once you begin the process of prioritizing, you will feel better and it will be accomplished.

You’ve started a diet before the holidays. One day, you have a yearning for a particular dessert. You quickly decide your diet is over, and it wasn’t worth the effort. You walk over to the mirror and utter to yourself, “I’m fat, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Wrong! Setting yourself up for failure by thinking negatively about the way you look does not solve the immediate problem. Instead, admit to cheating; promise you’ll try harder, and allow positive thoughts to guide you through it.

Probably the most intensely negative thought processes are experienced by teenagers. Perhaps their life isn’t going the way they thought it would; or they are unhappy with school; or peer pressure has made them act in a way that cultivates anger. “I don’t want to live anymore,” one might say. While they may not mean what they say; it is still a sign which requires immediate intervention. The thought can become a seed which could germinate into the act itself.

Either through family, friends, counselors or skilled professionals – negative thought can quickly be turned around into positive reinforcement. It is up to each and every one of us to ensure that any hint of negativity is purged from our thought process; and to avoid imprinting unwelcome thoughts onto our family or friends.

Aurelia Williams, certified Personal Life Coach and owner of Real Life Coaching, invites you to take advantage of a free consultation today. Isn’t it time to break free from negative thoughts?

Free Home Decorating Ideas

October 28, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Freebies, Just for Fun 1 Comment →

Everyone appreciates home decorating ideas when planning to make improvements to their home.  You may have visions of your own about how your new home décor would look but it’s always nice to have an alternative plan.  There’s definitely home decorating ideas that you haven’t discovered. There are constantly changes being made regarding trends in home decorating.  Checking out new home decorating ideas may give birth to a new home decorating plan for your space.

Being able to find home decorating ideas is a treat but having access to free home decorating ideas is a real gift.  Good news, there are free home decorating ideas available to you.  Often when you pick up a magazine, perhaps while waiting at the doctor’s office, something in the home decorating section catches your eye.  Relaying tips and techniques for home improvements, this magazine is offering you free home decorating ideas. Another great source of information regarding home décor and decorating is a catalog from major stores such as Sears, Zellers or Ikea.  Advertising their products, they use illustrations of fully decorated rooms.  Browsing catalogs such as these you’ll find many free home decorating ideas.

Taking a trip to your local furniture store or department store is sure to provide free home decorating ideas.  Many stores have displays which are regularly changes to share new and trendy home décor.  The front window of a furniture store is a great place to catch a glimpse of beautifully arranged home décor.  Again, window displays such as this can be considered free home decorating ideas.

One of the best sources of free home decorating ideas is the Internet.  There are hundreds of sites on the Internet related to home decorating with thousands of free home decorating ideas.  There are sites which explain in depth the various home decorating designs and offer ideas to help you achieve these styles in your own home.  Some sites offer step-by-step instructions for do-it-yourself home decorating and renovating projects. These free home decorating ideas are your chance to create rooms and spaces similar to those decorated by professional interior decorators.  With the aid of these free home decorating ideas, you’ll be equipped to transform your home into something you only dream of.  You may be very surprised at what you can actually accomplish as an inexperienced interior decorator.

Decorating a home or space is a very exciting activity.  It does require a whole lot of effort regarding planning and the actual decorating, but the results are definitely worth it.  Being able to sit back after living through weeks or renovations and home decorating is a delight.  Being able to look around your home at the beautiful changes and realize you are responsible, that feeling is overwhelming.  To know that you were able to achieve these results by using free home decorating ideas may be astonishing.  You may feel so great about your accomplishment that you’ll be eager to take on another room.  When you are ready to begin another home decorating or renovating project, you’ll be able to plan it with added confidence realizing there are thousands of free home decorating ideas to help you out.

Free Meal Plan and Grocery List

October 26, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

You can get 2 extra hours for f r e e right now! Moms sure are overworked. We hardly have a moment to ourselves. We’re always looking out for somebody else’s needs – and wants.

Have you ever stopped to think what you would do if you had 2 hours free to spend any way you want, every week?  I did, and was surprised
how hard it was for me to come up with ideas.  I  guess it’s been THAT long since I had time all for myself.

Well, I want YOU to start making plans for two free hours.  No, I’m not coming over to clean your house, LOL!  But I am giving you a free meal
plan and grocery list good for one week of dinners and side dishes, plus 2 brunch recipes and 2 desserts. 

It’s a sample from Dine WithoutWhine.

So for the next week, you won’t have to make your own meal plan and food shopping list.  Not only do you get to use this time to do something else, but by meal planning and shopping with a list, you will:

- save big bucks (the average family saves $60 a week by eating at home!)

- help your family eat healthier

- enjoy relaxed family dinners, which make for healthier, smarter and more relaxed family members :-)

- save time and money when food shopping

Go ahead and grab your one-week meal plan and grocery list here
…there’s no charge or any obligation of any kind.

Enjoy your sample meal plan – and those two extra hours!

PS: This is a no-obligation sample from Dine Without Whine.  You don’t have to give your name or Email address to get it, and you don’t have
to try the paid service – if you don’t want to.

7 Back-to-School Lunch Tips

October 21, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Is school really just around the corner? You know what that means – early morning scrambles, after-school tizzies and ragged nerves at dinnertime.

It’s still possible to have pleasant family mealtimes even after school has begun. Check out these back-to-school dinner tips for busy Moms:

1. Have a meal plan.

The most important key to having relaxed family dinners even on school nights is having a meal plan. This will simplify both food shopping and meal preparation, and help you save money to boot.

If you need help, check out Dine Without Whine’s meal and grocery planning service.

2. Try freezer meals.

Cut down on cooking time by cooking large batches and then freezing them for future use.

3. Simplify your schedule.

With school comes extracurricular activities that could have you running – or driving around – like a headless chicken. Keep things to a minimum. Overloading children with too many after-school activities is not good for them. They need downtime too.

4. Get the kids involved in cooking.

Get some help by mobilizing your own troops – your husband and children – as your kitchen helpers. Cooking is an important life skill and now it’s bonding time as well.

5. Have an emergency plan.

No matter how well you plan in advance, something always comes up. Plan for that as well. Always have emergency supplies in the pantry so you can throw together a home-cooked meal at a moment’s notice.

It could be a frozen dinner you prepared during the weekend. Mine is pasta, a can of tomato sauce and whatever vegetables are in the refrigerator.

6. Post your family schedule.

Keep a large calendar on the wall where you can see every family member’s schedule at a glance. It will also help you plan activities around your family dinner times.

7. Set a routine.

Decide on an earlier dinner time, bedtime and wake up time and start following them a few days before school officially begins. This way, everybody’s adjusted when the real thing comes.

8. Stay flexible.

Sometimes you just can’t afford disruptions to your meal times. An occasional missed family dinner is no big deal – when you know you’ll have more throughout the week.

9. Consider school schedules.

Take note of school events and other activities in your family calendar – so you can plan your family dinners with them in mind.

10. Cook once, eat twice.

Every so often, cook a double batch of meals that can easily be transformed into another entree or side dish. For example, roast 2 chickens. Have one for tonight’s dinner. Chop up the other for chicken salad for later in the week.

11. Organize your kitchen.

If you haven’t done so yet, now’s the time to take stock of your kitchen. Make sure the items you use most often are accessible from your food prep area. Replace the tools that are broken, and get those gadgets that will help you get dinner ready faster.

12. Have a special meal.

Make Friday night Teen’s night – which means they plan and prepare the meal. That is, if you have teens or any child old enough to prepare meals. They’ll learn how to cook, you get the night off (from cooking), and everybody has fun. The only condition is: everybody has to eat what’s prepared.

13. Make it educational.

This idea is for preschool-age kids. Make or buy a special placemat with letter or numbers. Laminate it with Con-Tact paper so it becomes a wipe-off board. Use it only for dinnertimes.

14. More mealtime learning opportunities.

Plan some meals to coincide with specific topics your child is studying in school. For example, on the night after a field trip to a pioneer town, have a pioneer-style meal.

15. Celebrate school successes at dinner.

Celebrate school successes with a special family meal. Prepare the child’s favorite meal and prepare a nice dessert. It’s more important to have a meal that’s relaxed and delicious, than one that tool hours to prepare.

16. Nurture school relationships.

Get to know your children’s closest school friends by inviting them to dinner once in a while.

Follow these tips to make family mealtimes simpler, easier and more fun. For meal planning and grocery shopping help, go to Dine Without Whine.

Your monthly subscription includes a weekly meal plan with recipes for main dishes, side dishes, 2 desserts and 2 brunches.

You’ll also get a weekly grocery shopping list of everything you need to create the recipes. The list is categorized according to grocery sections, so your shopping will be easier and faster.

For a limited time, you can try Dine Without Whine for a penny. Click here to find out how.

Flu Prevention

October 14, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized 1 Comment →

Flu prevention is key when it comes to staying healty this time of year. Here are ways that you can Arm Your Self Against The Flu

The flu seems to be top-of-mind right now for almost everyone, especially moms. And while many moms are taking extra measures this year to protect kids from both seasonal flu and H1N1, they may neglect getting their own flu shot. With kids, husbands, schools, friends, communities and employers depending on moms for so much, it’s more important than ever for moms to get vaccinated against seasonal flu this year.

As many as one in five Americans ends up suffering from the flu each year and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized due to flu-related complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases result in a few days in bed, which is far from rest and relaxation for the do-it-all mom. When the flu bug bites mom, it can seriously impact the family, as she may not be able to care for the home and kids as she normally does.

“Moms today are busier than ever and the No. 1 thing they’re looking for is convenience,” says Dr. Lucy Crane, Walgreens corporate medical director. “A seasonal flu shot is the best protection against getting the virus and now it’s quick and easy to stop by a neighborhood pharmacy like Walgreens to get one. We know the critical role moms play every day and when mom is down and out, the whole family usually suffers.”

As the holiday season approaches, moms are reminded of the many reasons they should make time for themselves to receive a flu shot – to protect themselves and the ones they love:

* Holiday celebrations – From Halloween to New Year’s Eve, there are endless feasts and festivals with family and friends. To keep the good times rolling, roll up your sleeve for a flu shot, get plenty of rest to help keep your immune system strong and keep anti-bacterial wipes handy in kitchens and bathrooms for yourselves and guests.

* Travel – Traveling is a notorious way to swap germs with strangers. Seasonal flu vaccinations and good habits, like frequent and thorough hand-washing or use of hand sanitizers, drinking plenty of water and coughing or sneezing into tissues (and then throwing them away) are the best defenses against bringing an unwanted passenger on your trip.

* Job and career – Sick kids or sick moms can result in use of sick days (if you have them) or lost wages. For working moms, it’s important to stay healthy and bring home the bacon, and not the flu, too. Urge co-workers to get seasonal flu shots to reduce overall risk of picking up more than a paycheck at work.

Getting a seasonal flu shot is a lot easier than it used to be, with pharmacies, clinics and even airports among those now offering this important service.

Walgreens has taken a leadership role in flu prevention, assembling a network of 16,000 certified immunizers, made up of pharmacists, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners. Seasonal flu shots are $24.99 and may be covered by insurance plans as well as Medicare Part B. For the latest information on seasonal flu and to find a local store offering seasonal flu shots, visit www.Walgreens.com/flu.

No matter how busy you are, your family and friends will thank you for arming yourself against the seasonal flu this year.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

For more tips on getting and staying healthy all year long, stop by Healthy Living.

Fun Halloween Craft Ideas

October 12, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

Kids always have fun making crafts, especially holiday-themed crafts. Here are some fun Halloween craft ideas for your kids to make this year.

1. Trick-or-Treat bucket

Supplies: ice cream bucket, construction paper, markers, crayons, glue, glitter (any craft supplies)
Directions: Use construction paper to draw ghosts, pumpkins, scarecrows, etc. Cut out your decorations and glue them to the outside of an ice cream bucket.

2. Trick-or-Treat goody bags

Supplies: small brown paper bags, Halloween stickers, markers, treats (candy, pencils, erasers, bubblegum, etc.)

Directions: Decorate paper bags in Halloween themes using your art supplies. Put treats inside bags. Fold the top of the bag down and tape shut with a Halloween sticker.

3. Tiny pumpkins

Supplies: acorns, orange paint, and green paint

Directions: Lay acorns on a sheet of newspaper. Paint the bottom of the acorns with orange paint. After the orange paint dries, paint the top of the acorns green (for the stem of the pumpkin). Allow to dry thoroughly.

4. Spooky Spiders

Supplies: black construction paper, cotton balls or cotton stuffing, black pipe cleaners, small bowl or saucer, and a stapler

Directions: Using black construction paper, trace around a small bowl or saucer. (Cut out two circles per spider.) Place stuffing or cotton balls on first circle. Lay second circle on top of cotton stuffing and staple half-way around. Insert 3-4” pipe cleaners on each side, then staple the second half of the circles together. Bend pipe cleaners to make the “legs” of the spider.

Would you like to quickly make creative Kids Halloween Costumes that you and your children will be proud of — for a fraction of the price of store-bought? Susanne Myers has co-authored a book to show you how — no sewing involved. Visit www.ILoveHalloweenCostumes.com to learn more.

Balancing Children’s Schedule and Your WAH Schedule

October 09, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

One of the top reasons many women become work at home moms is to be available for the children. Most choose to start when the children are young and need constant supervision. Many continue the experience as the children get older because of the flexibility it offers.

It can be a struggle being a work at home mom. You are constantly juggling the needs of the children with the needs of the business. Finding a balance between the two is the key to being a successful (and peaceful) work at home mom. Here are some tips on how to achieve this:

1. Make a schedule of times when you KNOW you won’t be disturbed (early in the morning, late at night or during naps). There are several hours in each day that you can devote to work that are completely undisturbed by the rest of the household.

2. Keep a calendar of all the children’s activities close at hand (include everything from doctor’s appointments to carpools). It will help you know how to juggle your schedule if you always have the important events written out for easy access.

3. Use that same calendar to keep track of due dates or projects that you need to complete. It will help you stay on track if you know what you have to do and when you have to do it. You can use a paper calendar or even one of the many automated calendar programs (that will sound an alarm when things are suppose to happen).

4. ALWAYS aim to complete your projects at least three days ahead of schedule. Procrastination can be one of the major pitfalls of the work at home mom. Keep it at bay by staying ahead of schedule.

5. Expect the unexpected. One of the main reasons that people choose to work at home is so that they can be flexible. You want to be able to walk away from work if the children have an unexpected awards program or they are just sick. Plan to have unexpected down time – keep ahead of your workload, set aside a day that can be a time for catching up, plan on getting up an hour early (or staying up an hour later) the day after the unexpected changes occur.

6. Put the children first. Whether it’s a splinter in the finger or a question about homework, help the children to understand that they are more important than any project or work schedule. Remember that they are the main reason that you are a work at home mom.

The best way to balance your children’s schedules and your work load is to stay organized. Keep lists and schedules easily accessible and keep them up to date. Before long you will find that the juggling act is really much easier than it looks.

Visit Balancing Work & Family for additional help.

Quick Exercises Tips For Busy Moms

October 07, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

You would think moms exercise more than anyone else; between taking care of their children, cleaning the house, and running errands. The truth of the matter is, as a mom, you need specific exercises to remain healthy and fit. Here are four exercises which will not only give you the energy you need, but allow you to face daily challenges head on.

Lunges: To perform the lunge just stands with their feet apart, and step forward, landing with the heel first. The motion is continued until the back knee is nearly touching the ground. Return to the starting position by pushing forward with the front leg, and repeat the exercise by stepping forward with their other leg. This exercise strengthens your leg muscles and hamstrings. You can even perform this work out by dusting your living room coffee table, or cleaning the bottom of your kitchen cabinets. Make it a fun thing to do!

Lateral Shoulder Raise: Work your shoulders and upper arms by sitting straight in a chair, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Beginning with your hands at your side, raise them both up and out at the same time. Slowly bring your arms down; repeating this move at least ten times. Now, if you do not have any dumbbells, use a gallon container of laundry detergent. You may not reach ten, but you are certainly on your way to it. Don’t put the laundry detergent away; you’re not finished with it yet!

Back Exercise: Again, using the containers of laundry detergent, hold one in each hand… Stand with your legs apart. Bend your knees slightly and bend your body forward at the waist. Let your arms hang down in front of you, but don’t lock your elbows. Keeping your back straight, abdominal muscles in, and knees bent, pull the containers upward towards your chest. Then, slowly lower the weights back to starting position. Now you can put the detergent back in the closet!

Stomach Exercise: Lay on the floor with your right foot resting on your left knee. Lift your shoulders and neck as if you are doing a regular crunch. Reach your left hand above and over your right foot. Lower your head to just above the ground. After ten repetitions, repeat the exercise with your left foot and right knee.

All of these exercises are quick and are proven to show results. So, get started Mom! Be sure to email me and let me know what exercises you are going to start with.

Take a look at “Get Fit While You Sit” and get 36 Exercises you can do almost anywhere, anytime!

Some Great Tips for More Positive Thinking

October 05, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Self Esteem No Comments →

Have you ever met someone who was so positive about life, you wish you felt that way as well? You can. Positive thinking is a powerful tool. Our minds control all of our thought processes and can be the catalyst for living a happy and positive existence or live life with a doom and gloom attitude.

Here are several ways to not only improve your mindset, but your life as well.

* If you are faced with a negative thought, change it to a positive one. Remember the movie, “Pollyanna?” Her father taught her the “glad game.” She encouraged the town to find things to be glad about. Eventually, they did and were happier than ever before.

* Surround your life with positive people. Go to events which bring you joy or have special meaning. Invoke positive memories whenever you can.

* There is a saying, “It’s the simple things in life that make me happy.” Find those simple pleasures, no matter how small or insignificant they may be. They are yours to enjoy.

* Love yourself; nurture the inner you; love others, and most of all be kind. Greet the doorman in the morning, or give a hug to someone who needs it most.

* Help someone less fortunate than yourself. Volunteer your time at a nursing home or hospital. When you give, you receive ten-fold.

Begin your day in a positive manner. Nothing is worse then getting up in a grumpy mood. It not only sets the tone for the days’ events, but impacts your family as well. It may be cliché, but take time out to smell the roses. Give thanks for all you have; and be generous to those who have nothing.

For more a step by step guide to help gain the happiness that you deserve and to help you maintain a positivie attitude take a look at my ebook Journey To Joy