How To Add More Hours To Your Day

Getting up earlier can add as much as 3 hours to your day! That’s 21 hours a week!

Want to know how to find more hours in your day?

Get up earlier!

No, seriously. Get up earlier. I’ll confess, since my kids have been out of school for the summer, I’ve been a slacker, relishing the ability to stay in bed and not have to get up and rush around to get them to school on time. No lunches to pack, no homework to check and permission slips to sign. It’s been easy, peasy lemon squeezy in the Phillips household this summer.

A few weeks into summer I started realizing I wasn’t getting hardly anything done. No writing. No working on my wellness business. I even fell behind on my Doctor of Naturopathy classes.

It was like when my kids got their summer break, I thought I should be on summer break too!

Unfortunately, stuff doesn’t get done when you take breaks.

I’ll admit I have been overwhelmed with everything I decided to take on in order to “live my dreams.” I started thinking it was because I was just taking on too many projects and trying to make sure the kids were having fun.

That wasn’t it. I was just lazy. I was spending too much time reading Facebook, or celebrity gossip sites (don’t judge) and enjoying my 9:00 am coffee. I was staying up later and getting up later.

Unfortunately for me, if I don’t get stuff done before 2 o’clock, my body starts to wind down.

So, what’s the solution? Get up earlier. It’s the only thing that makes sense. I saw a video from one of the top leaders in the company I am building my business with say even though she no longer works in a office, she makes it a habit to get up and take a shower every morning, put her make-up on, fixes her hair and gets dressed as though she’s going to go to work.

She said she gets a lot more done that way and she’s ready in case someone wants to call and meet up for lunch or coffee. She gets dressed for work.

I think that is the problem with many of us who are stay-at-home moms. We have no real set schedule (except for those of you who are new moms and/or have toddlers running around everywhere – those nap times are great – for both of you!).

The answer seems to be to get up early. Instead of rising at 8:00, think of how much you could get done between 5 and 8:00. That’s three hours added to every single day. What could you accomplish with an extra 21 hours a week?

Think about it.

21 hours to work out. 21 hours to write. 21 hours to get stuff done!

The first few weeks may be a little rough if you’re not a morning person. Hang in there!

Do me a favor and try this technique for 3 weeks straight (yes, including weekends!) and see how much you can accomplish. Be in bed by 9:30 and try to be asleep by 10.

If you’re serious about making a new life for yourself and reaching your goals, then you’ve got to act like it. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do!

Get up, get active, take charge of the clock and get moving on those goals! Live your life with intention and purpose.

Have a blessed day.

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

no guilt vegan grain-free brownies

These brownies are delicious, vegan and grain-free!

Want to eat a delicious guilt-free grain-free vegan brownie? Look no further!

I’ll confess, I”m not a big chocolate person. I don’t get the cravings for chocolate that my husband and kids do. Given the choice between a slice of chocolate cake or chips and salsa, I’ll take the chips and salsa every time.

That said, once and a while, I do want something sweet and since my family loves chocolate, I decided to try something new and see how it turned out. You know what? It turned out GREAT!

Now, let me tell you, there were some brownies back in Richmond, VA which I LOVED. They were vegan and they were AMAZING! If you’re ever in Richmond, head over to Stony Point and Good Foods Grocery. They have a cafe with delicious sandwiches, smoothies and the best vegan brownies I’ve ever tasted. They were made with black beans and I begged for the recipe, but never got it.

I will try out a black bean recipe one day. I just decided to try this one first. It has that Reese-cup element to it since it’s made with peanut butter. Don’t worry, if you’re allergic to peanut butter, I’m sure you can substitute with almond or cashew butter.

I will confess that as I’m writing this blog post, I am also eating one of the brownies with my coffee. I usually try and eat raw vegan until dinner, but these brownies have nothing in them that I wouldn’t eat naturally, so I don’t feel in the least bit guilty about indulging my sweet tooth this morning.

So, what’s in these bad boys? Well, some organic peanut butter for one. I get mine fresh ground from Whole Foods. There’s also ripe organic bananas and organic cacao powder.

Delicious Vegan Grain-Free Brownies

Organic bananas and organic cacao powder are just the beginning!

There’s also organic maple syrup …

Maple Syrup

I buy my organic maple syrup in large quantities.

I’m telling you. If you’re trying to eat healthy and want chocolate, then this recipe is the ticket.

Vegan Grain-Free Brownie Recipe

Preheat your oven to 350.

2 ripened organic bananas (so they are easily mushed)
3 Tablespoons organic cacao powder
1 cup of natural peanut butter (you can sub other nut butters if you’re allergic to peanuts)
1/2 cup of maple syrup
6 pitted dates

You can leave the recipe at that, or you can do what I do and add either:

1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips or 1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips

What I did. I grabbed my food processor and dumped everything except the chips in. I pulsed until it was smooth. I added the vegan chocolate chips and pulsed a couple of times to mix them in then poured into a greased (I use coconut oil) glass pan. Mine was 9 x 9.

Bake those brownies for about 30 to 35 minutes and you’ll have yourself an amazing, fudge-like brownie in no time.

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Having fun with my kids is one of life's great pleasures.

Feel Free to Have Fun with your kids!

When is the last time you did something just for fun?

As I wrote about it last week, I downloaded the Pokemon Go app with my kids and have been having a blast playing the game with them. We’ve been all over our area catching Pokemon, getting exercise and laughing together.

My husband posted a photo of us all catching a Pokemon in our downtown area last night with the caption, “I don’t get it.” He has 4,000 “friends” on Facebook and the pile-on started. Everything from “I don’t even know what it is” to “They clearly have too much time on their hands” to “I think it’s idiotic catching made-up characters’ to “Absolute ignorance at it’s finest.”

So my question is, “When did having fun become idiotic and ignorant?”

I’m 53. That doesn’t mean I can’t learn something new or have fun playing a game with my kids. Is Stand Up Paddle-boarding idiotic and ignorant? Because I do that with my kids too.

And honestly, I talk more with my kids walking and looking for Pokemon than I do while SUPing. We’re usually too far apart to have any real conversations on the water. That’s not true for Pokemon Go.

Playing in the river while catching Pokemon

We stopped and played in the river while playing Pokemon Go.

Maybe the “fun” gene is inherited. My father had it. I remember when I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I were riding around and passed by a house with a grandfather towing his grandchildren in a red wagon. He would start running and the children were laughing and squealing with delight. My husband turned to me and said, “Why do I think that will be your father when this baby is born?”

He was right. My father was all about playing with our daughter, no matter what she wanted to do. My husband’s father was nothing like that. He usually sat in a chair in their living room watching television. It would never occur to him to get on the floor and play a board game with the grandchildren or tow them around in a red wagon.

I don’t want to be like that. I want to laugh out loud, experience life with my children and have fun. I don’t want to spend my non-working hours reading depressing headlines and watching the news (which is almost all negative all the time).

Life should be lived. It should be enjoyed and relished like a delicious scoop of decadent ice cream.

While you can’t play 100% of the time, there should definitely be fun in your life. It’s important to realize that fun means different things to different people. Not everyone considers the same things “fun.”

I can promise you this …

As long as God blesses me with this life and good health, I will do everything in my power to enjoy it. I will learn to surf. I will ride horses. I will swim in the ocean. I will laugh out loud. I will play.

I will have fun.

And so should you.

Have a blessed day.

Daily Vitamin for the Soul - Positive Quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Taking Responsibility for having a great life

Are you just dreaming of a great life, or are you doing something to make it happen?

Are you taking 100% responsibility for your life?

I subscribe to Darren Hardy’s daily success emails called Darren Daily. You can subscribe here. It’s like getting a little motivational success push every morning in my inbox.

Anyway, today he was talking about people who are always dreaming, but never finding themselves any closer to realizing those dreams than they were a year ago (or maybe even 10 years ago). Why? Because they come up with excuses.

It’s too hot. I’ve got kids. My mother got sick. I’m too tired. It’s too hard right now. I don’t have the money. I want to make sure everything’s perfect before I get started.

Well guess what? The people who are successful, the people doing the things you want to do, don’t make excuses. They do it anyway.

They do it when they have a house full of kids. They do it when they don’t have money. They do it when they’re tired. They do it when nothing is perfect.

They just do it.

Stop making excuses as to why you are not living the life you want to live. If you’re not, the responsibility for that lies squarely on your shoulders and your shoulders alone. No one else is at fault.

And yes, life happens. It happens to all of us. The difference is how you react to what life throws at you. Do you use anything tough thrown your way as an excuse as to why you cannot get something done? Or do you see the tough time as an obstacle to overcome, get around and keep moving toward your goal?

Don’t just dream of a better life. Don’t visualize and not set goals to realize the life you envision. Don’t set goals and not take action to meet those goals.

Stop making excuses and get going on those goals! You can do this!

Have a blessed day!

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Finding Joy

Finding joy in everyday experiences is one way of leading a happier, healthier and abundant life.

Yesterday, I wrote about the new Pokemon Go game and why it’s become such a phenomenal success.

Well, last night two of my children and I went to our downtown area where the hub of Pokemon activity is around here and I would say about 70% of the people down there were also hunting Pokemon. It was a very social time for everyone. Strangers talking to one another. Laughter and smiles abounded. People were not just looking at their phones, they were interacting with others who were playing the game.

In short, we were all having fun.

And …

vibram_five_finger_womens_komodo_sport_ls_grey_black_navy_

I ended up walking a total of 2 hours yesterday with my kids searching for those Pokemon. That’s two hours of communicating and exercise with my kids. As Charlie Sheen would say, “Winning!”

I was feeling pretty happy and frankly, exhausted, when I checked Facebook on my phone before heading to bed. There was a post from a business leader who was snidely commenting on Pokemon Go and how it was a waste of time with people just “looking at their phones” when they could be working on their businesses.

What was disturbing is that most of the commenters agreed with him. Comments below his post said things like, “They could be building their business instead of wasting their time with a stupid game.”

Look, I’m all about people not just dreaming about a better life, but taking action to make their dreams come true. The theme for this blog is a “Happier, Healthier and More Abundant Life” after all. However, there is a time for work and a time for play. Play means different things to different people.

I think this business leader is a “red” personality. If you’ve every done one of those color personality quizzes, you know what I mean. If not, you can take one here. I’m predominantly yellow.

MOTIVE [ Fun ]
Yellows are motivated by Fun. They are inviting and embrace life as a party that they’re hosting. They love playful interaction and can be extremely sociable. They are highly persuasive and seek instant gratification. Yellows need to be adored and praised. While yellows are carefree, they are sensitive and highly alert to others’ agendas to control them. Yellows typically carry within themselves the gift of a good heart

ABOUT YELLOW
Yellows need to look good socially, and friendships command a high priority in their lives. Yellows are happy, articulate, engaging of others and crave adventure. Easily distracted, they can never sit still for long. They embrace each day in the “present tense” and choose people who, like themselves, enjoy a curious nature. Yellows are charismatic, spontaneous, and positive; but can also be irresponsible, obnoxious, and forgetful. When you deal with a YELLOW, take a positive, upbeat approach and promote light-hearted, creative, and fun interactions.

So, while a predominately red personality may be driven and goal oriented, I’m more about, “Is it fun? Is everyone happy? How can we make this fun?”

You might find a red personality totally focused on their goals and objectives, whereas a yellow personality is looking for an adventure while pursuing their dream.

Neither personality is wrong, it’s just who that person is.

You can pursue your goals and still have a life of adventure and fun! For instance, yesterday I worked out, wrote a blog post, posted on my social media accounts, edited 5 chapters of my Middle Grade Fiction book and looked at agents’ submission guidelines, took a class and test for my Doctor of Naturopathy courses (I got a 100 on the test!), took another online class on writing/blogging and spent time looking for Pokemon with my kids!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No one will get to the end of their life and wish they’d spend more time working. The older I get, the more I realize how important family, friends, good health and fun are to our lives.

Yes, make time to pursue your passion. No matter what your age is, dream big dreams, set goals to achieve them and get to work.

But also make time for the really important things in your life, like your kids and fun!

Have a blessed day!

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Pokemon Go App

Pokemon Go: Gotta Catch Em All!

Is your family wandering the streets looking for Pokemon too?

Don’t worry, if they’re not, they soon will be thanks to the new app that is driving the world crazy. Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm and my family is no exception.

If your kids have ever played Pokemon and wished they could actually be IN the game and travel to find and capture all the Pokemon, their wish has been granted! This new app takes you inside the game and you are a Pokemon trainer.

Pokemon Go App

My son kneeling by a Pokemon as his sister prepares to capture it in a Pokeball.

My kids have been walking and riding their scooters all over town looking for Pokemon. Yesterday, two of my kids walked for over an hour trying to catch Pokemon. Yesterday, my daughter went to a local church, which according to the game is a “gym” (for those unaware, it’s where you battle other Pokemon trainers).

I swear, my kids have walked more in the last few days since getting this app, than they have the last few months combined. And that’s saying something, because we generally take our dogs for walks at least twice a day.

So, what exactly is Pokemon Go?

From VOX:

So why are people seeking out virtual creatures while at work and as they go to the bathroom? Part of the reason Pokémon Go is popular is that it’s free, so it’s easy to download and play. But more importantly, Pokémon Go fulfills a fantasy Pokémon fans have had since the games first came out: What if Pokémon were real and inhabited our world? But to understand why people are so enthusiastic about the idea, we first need to go back to the late 1990s — to the original Pokémon games.

Pokémon Go is an attempt at realizing what fans always wanted from Pokémon.

The Pokémon games take place in a world populated by exotic, powerful monsters — they can look like rats, snakes, dragons, dinosaurs, birds, eggs, trees, and even swords. In this world, people called “trainers” travel around the globe to tame these creatures and, in an ethically questionable manner, use them to fight against each other.

Based on the premise of bug catching — a popular hobby in Japan, where the games originated — the big goal in the Pokémon games, from the original Pokémon Red and Blue to the upcoming Pokémon Sun and Moon, is to collect all of these virtual creatures.

The first generation of Pokémon games began with 151 creatures, but the catalog has since expanded to more than 720. In Pokémon Go, only the original 151 are available.

The games took the world by storm in the late 1990s — a big fad widely known as “Pokémania.” The original handheld games, Pokémon Red and Blue, came out in 1998 in America, followed by Yellow in 1999 and Gold and Silver in 2000. With the games came spinoffs like Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Pinball in 1999, a popular TV show, movies, trading cards, and a lot of other merchandise. For a few years, Pokémon was on top of the world. (The franchise is still fairly big; it’s just not the cultural phenomenon that it once was.)

But since the games came out for Nintendo’s handheld consoles, fans all around the world have shared a dream: What if Pokémon weren’t limited to the games’ world? What if they were real and inhabited our world? What if we could all be Ash Ketchum, the TV show’s star trainer, who wanders the world in his quest to catch them all and earn his honors by defeating all the gym leaders? I want a Pikachu in real life, dammit!

Unfortunately, Pokémon aren’t real — at least not yet. But technology has evolved to be able to simulate a world in which Pokémon are real. That’s essentially what Pokémon Go attempts to do: By using your phone’s ability to track the time and your location, the game imitates what it would be like if Pokémon really were roaming around you at all times, ready to be caught and collected. And given that many original Pokémon fans are now adults, this idea has the extra benefit of hitting a sweet spot of nostalgia, helping boost its popularity.

People all over the world have caught the fever. Finally, we’re all Ash Ketchum!

Pokemon Go App

Eating frozen yogurt when a Pokemon appears!

How popular is this game? It’s added an estimated $8 billion to Nintendo’s market value since it’s release about a week ago. Let that sink in.

So when you see people wandering around staring at their phones, they may not be texting or reading the latest internet gossip. They could be hunting Pokémon! These creatures could be on their office desks, restaurants and even in police stations.

All of this hasn’t just been fun and games. In a horrific twist, one teenage girl found an actual dead body while looking for Pokémon. Police in Missouri claimed that four suspected robbers lured in victims with the possibility of catching Pokémon.

Be careful out there, friends. Stay in groups while hunting your Pokemon and be alert to your surroundings.

Most of all … have fun!

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

The need for sleep

Despite the fact I had two alarms set, I could not get out of bed this morning.

I failed myself today.

I set my alarms … 2 of them … to get up before 5 and work out, so I could then shower, dress and get everything done that I need to get done today, including writing this blog post. Well, best laid plans and all, the alarms – which were across the room so I’d have to get up – rang for 10 minutes before they woke me up. I got up, turned them off and climbed back into bed.

Why?

I rationalized that because our room was so hot (for some reason our upstairs air conditioning is not working and it is HOT here), I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep last night. We had fans blowing on us, I had water and I was using Young Living’s Peace & Calming and Vetiver to help nudge me into slumber.

Once I finally fell asleep, I stayed asleep. The problem was, that didn’t happen until almost midnight. I know myself. I’m not one of those people who can sleep for 4 hours and then go full throttle all day. I need my rest. Everyone needs sleep. Sleep is when the body heals itself. It regenerates and recuperates. It is vital to good health.

So, as I zombie-walked over to the alarms, I asked myself, “Is it more important to get up and work out early, or to let your body get more rest?” I decided more rest was the way to go. I climbed back into bed and got 2 hours more of much needed sleep.

While I am disappointed in myself, mostly because I realized I still have so much to do today and less hours to do them, I forgave myself. Once my blog post is finished, I’m going to take our dogs for their walk, do my workout, take a shower, get dressed for the day and get to work on my writing.

I’m having a bit of a dilemma in that department. I have 3 things going on in my head. I’ve finished a middle grade fiction book and want to revise one more time before sending it out again to agents. I’m also editing and revising the first book of a trilogy I’m writing. Third, while doing the Kon Mari method of decluttering, I ran across a romantic thriller I wrote almost 20 years ago that I was very proud of. I want to dig that out, polish it off and start sending it out to agents again.

Aside from my writing, I am also taking classes to obtain a Doctor of Naturopathy degree and building a business with Young Living.

I also have 3 children who are off from school for the summer, a house to keep clean, lunches and dinner to make and various errands to run.

In other words, I have a lot on my plate and need extra hours in the day to get everything done. The only way to get those extra hours is to get up early and get started. To do that, I need to get to bed earlier and be asleep by 10.

Somehow, I am determined to get everything done today that needs to get done. Tomorrow, I will endeavor to rise before 5 again. Wish me luck!

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.

Hot Mess Moms

Hanging out with my kids who don’t seem to mind having a Hot Mess Mom for a mother.

I’m a Hot Mess Mom. There, I said it.

You won’t find me heading up PTA meetings or volunteering to be a room mom. I’m not leading cub scout meetings in a cub scout uniform or baking perfect pumpkin cupcakes for my kids’ classroom “Fall Parties.”

Perfect Pumpkin cupcakes

Perfect Pumpkin Cupcakes for a fall party!

My house looks nothing like the dream homes I pin on Pinterest, nor do I scour the internet to find the perfect table scape for my next dinner party.

My kids are not dressed in the finest designer sportswear. I’m not helping them put together amazing and expensive science projects either.

My kids and I have a phrase we use for those perfect Pinteresty moms who always seem to have it together. Whether it’s their perfect Athleta outfit for dropping their kids off at school before heading to pilates or dropping off homemade gluten-free cookies and brownies at their kids soccer games (along with perfectly cut up organic orange slices and organic juice boxes).

Kate Gosselin

When a BWM becomes famous …

Basic White Mom. The area I live in is pretty densely populated with these seemingly perfect creatures.

About a week ago, I was looking at our local news feed on Facebook and they had a photo of two basic white moms (blond hair, perfectly coordinated exercise outfits, blond kids and coach purses) taken at a local Target. They had stolen, of all things, toothbrushes. Those brushes must have been the electric rechargeable variety, because those ladies stole a total of $600 worth of products!

The best comment beneath the story?

“If you’d just gone to Chik fil A down the street, I’m sure you would have caught them having lunch!”

Exactly!

That person knows. Chik fil A is THE Basic White Mom hangout!

But let’s face it, who doesn’t love Chik Fil A?

Dream White Kitchen

The Pinterest Dream Kitchen where BWM’s make their perfect pumpkin cupcakes.

I’m not tearing down Basic White Moms. I’m in awe of them. I find it fascinating that they are able to look great, have the perfect homes, dress their kids in immaculate clothes and get it all done on schedule.

Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. They obviously have more energy and motivation in that department than I do.

There are times I feel tremendous guilt for being a Hot Mess Mom. I’ve even told my kids, “I’m sorry you don’t have a Basic White Mom for a mother.”

Their response?

“That’s okay! You’re a Hot Mess Mom and we love you! Hot Mess Moms are waaaay more fun!”

Why do my kids think having a Hot Mess Mom is more fun? Maybe it’s the unpredictability of our roller coaster life that makes it seem fun. Maybe it’s because I think kids should be kids instead of having every hour of their day pre-planned and scheduled. It’s not unheard of for me to surprise my kids at school in the middle of the day to take them out for a picnic and a movie.

I remember years ago (okay, decades) talking to one of my friends and I said, “Why can’t I have just a normal everyday life like everyone else?” My friend looked at me and said, “You will never have a normal life. It’s not who you are.”

And she’s right. I have never been normal. I cannot count the times my mother said, “Why can’t you just be like everyone else? Why do you have to be so different?”

She wasn’t complaining. Well, maybe a little. I think she wanted me to be like my older cousins (who I adore and love so much). They lived normal lives. They got straight A’s in school, went to college, got married, had great jobs and had amazing kids who were athletes and straight A students themselves.

The infamous Hollywood Sign

The Infamous Hollywood Sign

It just wasn’t in me to do that. I was the student who went to the back of the classroom where the windows were, so I could sit in the sunshine and daydream. I was kid who was writing cartoons about my fellow classmates with thinly disguised pseudonyms instead of taking notes in history class. I was the girl who moved to California to pursue an acting career, then found out I really wanted to be a writer instead.

While my cousins were studying, I was more interested in reading Jackie Collins latest novel and finding out what gossipy tidbits Rona Barrett had for me.

I don’t know what other Hot Mess Moms’ stories are. Maybe their stories are similar to mine.

Whether you’re a basic mom or a hot mess, I know we’re all just doing the best that we can and that’s okay.

Have a blessed day.

Positive quotes

Daily Vitamin for the Soul – Positive quotes to start your day on a positive note.