Friday, May 13, 2011

"The Family Scheduele" How It's Working For My Family

Posted by Andria at 3:55 PM 14 comments
So many of us can agree on the fact that the responsibility of running a household can be very overwhelming at times. From the moment I got married, I imagined that I would be the quintessential "Suzy Homemaker", always completely organized and able to run a household with ease. Well, I had a very rude awakening. It turns out that if you're not exactly the queen of clean before marriage, getting married will not automatically change that lol! And I got a huge reality check that hubbies who weren't tidy growing up won't magically change after marriage either! A lot of our problem was that we were both procrastinators and time wasters. Not a good mix when it comes to being organized and efficient. We had major work to do!

Through the years we had gotten better. Once we had our daughter Aizlynn, we almost didn't have a choice. I would say that by Aizlynn's preschool year we had developed a sort of "system" (if you can call it that) but it still needed tweaking. We would keep the house just "OK" during the week but then we'd spend almost two full days exhausting ourselves playing catch up. Sound familiar? We've gotten a little better then that in the past two years but, I still couldn't help but feel like we were not where we needed to be. Some days would be super productive and some weren't. Although Jeff has gotten much better at helping (and creating less messes) truthfully, I was still handling a little more of the work load and would feel overwhelmed. Another big part of me feeling overwhelmed was that I was still picking up after my six year old WAY too much when she's clearly old enough to start helping out. It just felt some days like we were going in different directions. I decided recently that things NEEDED to change around here. We HAD to make a family schedule and stick to it!

I want my home to run like a well oiled machine and I'm determined to make that happen! I did some research on ways to run my home efficiently, that way I could ensure that all responsibilities are handled without consuming every waking moment of my day and ensure that the workload was even between all of us. I sat down with Jeff one day and together we made our family schedule. We also agreed that sticking to it would be key and really committed ourselves to following it. We are now almost a full week into it and it's been working fantastically!

 
Whether you have a small family or a huge one, I would recommend anyone making a family schedule. If you're interested in creating a schedule for your family, I say go for it! These are some rules of thumb that we've gone by when we created ours and it's totally worked for us. Hope this helps!


* Start with a to-do list- One of the best methods for keeping a family organized is lists. Each day you're going to face several household tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, paying bills, organizing incoming mail etc. so make sure to list these things and include ALL OF IT into your schedule.

* Analyze your priorities- Think of the tasks that you can eliminate or reduce so you can focus on your priorities and essential tasks. Prioritize your to-do list to ensure that those important tasks you've been putting off are taken care of.

* Keep weekly tasks consistent- For example, on our schedule, every Friday the stairs must be vacuumed and every Monday and Friday laundry must be done. That won't change from week to week.

* Delegate!- Written into the family schedule, each person is to be assigned their own specific task that they must stick too. Delegating eases your work load, helps tasks become predictable for everyone (no more need to nag!) and prevents tasks from becoming overwhelming.

* Get the kids involved- Delegate age-appropriate tasks to your kids. When you involve kids in the housework, chores, cooking, cleaning etc. In my opinion it helps to provide a sense of family unity and also teaches kids to develop good work ethics. We've written out a separate, kid-friendly to-do list for Aizlynn and put it on our refrigerator where she can easily see it. She's done a great job in sticking to it!

* Don't forget about free time- Sometimes we get so consumed in just getting things done that we forget about simply relaxing and enjoying eachother. Don't be afraid to include "family time" in your schedule like movie nights, game nights etc.

* Make the commitment!- There's no point in taking the time to create a great family schedule if nobody's going to stick to it! Once the schedule is made have a family meeting and discuss why it's important for everyone to abide by the new schedule. Make a deal with your family that everyone is to be kept accountable. There's nothing wrong with friendly reminders ;)

I'm not an expert on these things but, I do know that so far this has been working out great for us. I hope that what I've shared here will be helpful and I'd love to hear suggestions and tips from you too! 






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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lyric Love; Fighter

Posted by Andria at 10:43 AM 4 comments
I actually read the lyrics to this song for the first time and realized how much I could relate to it. I think we could all relate to it in one way or another. Just reading it makes me feel so empowered. Thank you Christina Aguilera!

"Fighter" by Christina Aguilera

well i thought i knew you
thinkin that you were true
guess i
i couldn't trust
called your bluff
time is up
cuz i've had enough
you were there by my side
always down for the ride
but your joy ride just came down in flames
cuz your greed sold me out in shame

after all of the stealing and cheating
you probably think that i hold resentment for you
but uh oh, oh no you're wrong
cuz if it wasn't for all that you tried to do
i wouldnt know just how capable i am to pull thru
so i wanna say thank you
cuz it

makes me that much stronger
makes me work a lil bit harder
makes me that much wiser
so thanks for making me a fighter
made me learn a lil bit faster
made my skin a lil bit thicker
makes me that much smarter
so thanks for making me a fighter

never saw it coming
all of your back stabbing
just so you could cash in on a good thing before i'd realize your game
i heard you're going around
playing the victim now
but don't even begin feeling i'm the one to blame
cuz you dug your own grave

after all of the fights and the lies cuz you're wanting to haunt me
but that won't work anymore
no more
its over
cuz if it wasn't for all of your torture
i wouldn't know how to be this way now and never back down
so i wanna say thank you
cuz it

makes me that much stronger
makes me work a lil bit harder
makes me that much wiser
so thanks for making me a fighter
made me learn a lil bit faster
made my skin a lil bit thicker
makes me that much smarter
so thanks for making me a fighter...


Hope you all feel a little stronger for reading this. I know I sure do! Feel free to share any great songs that lift you up.










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Monday, May 9, 2011

"I'm Not Okay and That's Okay"

Posted by Andria at 12:12 PM 10 comments
It's been a month since my miscarriage and I thought I'd update on how it's going emotionally. Even though It's been about four weeks, there are times when the wound feels fresh like it were just yesterday and other times where it almost feels like a bad dream that never really happened in real life. It's been quite the eye-opening journey that teaches you things you only learn about yourself when you go through something like this.

One thing is that I'm not as tough as I like to believe I am. There I said it ;) In the beginning I wanted to be okay so badly that I convinced myself that I truly was. That family & friends were enough and that I was truly healing emotionally. Well, I came face to face with the "beast" that is what the community of miscarriage survivors call *triggers* and it was NOT pretty. I've also come to find out that I have quite a few triggers that put me in an emotionally dark place. I finally had to look at my husband and tell him. "Um, ya know something? I'm not okay." It was sort of liberating to say it out loud especially when I've spent a whole month telling friends, acquaintances, church friends & some family, "Oh, I'll be fine", "Yes, I'm doing much better", "I'm doing well, how are you?" I'm not okay and that's okay. I do know that eventually I will be and that I need to allow myself to truly mourn. Something I haven't done fully because I was too busy trying to be strong. I have never been good at letting my guard down and leaving myself vulnerable but that's just part of the process and I need to allow it to happen.

We have resumed trying again. It's been very bittersweet. I know that so many out there would disagree with what I'm going to say next but, I have to do what I feel is best for us. My husband and I have decided that when we do conceive again, we won't be telling anyone especially not our daughter for atleast twelve and maybe even sixteen weeks. It was just so horrible seeing my daughter go through such heartbreak and If I can try to spare her from that again, I will. And yes, I do know that pregnancies can end at any point bu,t atleast the chances at that point will be reduced. Also, having to tell person after person after person that we had lost our baby was way too hard. Like I said, we just feel that it's the best choice for us so in no way am I criticizing those who want to tell people right away.

This is where I'm at right now. I'm doing okay some days and some days I'm not so okay and I'm giving myself permission to feel it all now. This is just another season in my life that I have to go through and in the end, I'll come out stronger for it. In the end. Right now, I don't need force myself to be so strong and I'm no longer going to feel guilty for having to lean on others. There's no shame in needing to grieve...






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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tea Collection Review & Giveaway (closed)

Posted by Andria at 10:02 AM 64 comments

If you're like me, you not only love fashionable, quality clothing for yourself but, also love to see your child in them too. When I visited Tea Collection's website I found that they provide the best of both worlds! Tea is known for their unique, modern and beautiful clothing for woman and children and I'm pleased to say that I've gotten to work with in this review. Tea's distinctive designer apparel is not only very eye-catching but, the designs are inspired by all the beauty discovered in their travels around the world. Although I absolutely fell in love with their their girls dresses, boys and girls alike can enjoy looking super stylish and get this, Tea accommodates your children with sizes ranging from 0 to 12!

With more than 300 high-end children's boutiques in the U.S., Canada and Australia it's hard to believe that Tea started out in San Francisco with just 3 pima cotton sweaters!


We were sent some gorgeous pieces from not only Tea's Costa Brava collection but also their Barcelona Beach collection. The Costa Brava collection has an exquisite nautical inspired theme while the Barcelona Beach collection is inspired by the beautiful and bright nouveau tiles that one would find in Spanish architecture. I am absolutely in love with Tea Collection's clothes and I can clearly see that my little girl is too! The prints, colors and fabrics are to die for!

Wanna Buy It? If you're looking for some great summer clothes for you children then checking out Tea's site is a must! You can purchase Tea Collection's beautiful clothing from their website, teacollection.com and of course their collections cab also be found in specialty and department stores including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and more.

With summer just around the corner, Tea's unique and pretty clothes are quickly becoming a good portion of my child's wardrobe. The girls clothing are just too cute ! But remember moms, you can still find something fabulous for you AND your boys! I'm convinced that you'll love Tea as much as I do so to help get one lucky reader on their way to fashion bliss, Tea is giving away a $50 gift certificate to their online site!

How To Win:

* Must complete Mandatory entries! And YES, I do verify to make sure it has been completed. If not, any other entries will be void!


* Please leave a separate comment for EACH entry


* Please include a valid email with each entry


Mandatory Entry:

* In order to be eligible to win the prize, you MUST be a follower of Lipstick & Lullabies through Google Friends Connect! You can find it on the left of my blog under the "Follow Me" section.


*Visit teacollection.com  Come back to Lipstick & Lullabies and leave a comment telling me which pieces and or collections were your favorite!


Extra Entries:
(Remember to please leave a separate comment for each entry and include a valid email)!


* Follow me @mommydoula21 on twitter


* Follow @TeaCollection on Twitter.

* Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post. You can get one entry per post. Come back and tell me the     
   title(s) of the posts you commented on.

* "Like" Tea Collection on facebook.

* Post about this giveaway on your Facebook wall including the link to this post. Leave a comment for     
each time you do so and include a permalink in your comment please. (up to 3x a day and leave 2 hours in between)


* You may tweet the following up to four times a day but you're required leave at least an hour between each tweet. Also please leave a permalink for this entry to be verified & counted!


Have you entered 2 #WIN a $50 gift certificate 2 Teacollection on Lipstick & Lullabies yet? Enter now! #giveaway http://bit.ly/myNS5i 

And Here's The Fine Print!

* I was provided the product(s) free of charge by the company or PR representative. It has been used solely for the purpose of this review. Any statements and opinions made by myself in regard the the company and or product are strictly my own views. Receiving the product did not influence me to produce a positive review. Giveaway is open to USA only. Giveaway starts 5/5/11.  It will end and close on Fri. 5/15/11 at 9 p.m eastern. Any entries made after such time will not be counted. Winner will be chosen through Random.org. Once winner is contacted whether via email or direct message, they will have 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond their prize is then void and a new winner will be promptly chosen. I reserve the right to remove any comments that I feel are not relevant to the contest.





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Monday, May 2, 2011

"Flawless Mommy: Another Added Pressure On Moms..."

Posted by Andria at 7:10 PM 3 comments

Working and Stay at home moms alike have a lot on their plates, taking care of the kiddos AND the hubbys. Usually they do the bulk of the shopping, cooking, cleaning and another hundred little things. In the midst of all this it's no wonder so many moms simply put hair, makeup and sometimes even clean clothing at the bottom of the priority list. In a world where there's undeniably a certain kind of awe for moms who manage to look flawless like some chick out of a Pantene commercial, perfectly groomed and made up, wearing high heals and all the while carrying a baby on their hip, has it led to a new kind of pressure for the everyday mom? Not only that but should it matter? And if it should how much importance should be placed on the issue without being totally unreasonable? I have my own opinions on this subject but I wanted to know where others stood on the matter so I visited a few forums and read comments like these...

"it screams of someone who doesn't have any respect for themselves or the way that they look. I dare someone to go into a board room with p.j. pants on and expect anyone to take them seriously."

"When a husband comes home to a woman who has let herself - and her home - go, he sees that she's given up on her responsibilities as the wife and home maker. He takes that as a slap in the face, and a woman who does so should accept the risk that her indifference to her appearance and her role may cause damage to the marriage itself."

OUCH!!! I really find that extreme. Um, what about the fact the she could just be going through something emotional? Or what if she, like so many other moms, is just completely overwhelmed?! Man, are we quick to jump to conclusions or what? And in my oppinion, anyone who would allow something like that to dictate the future of their marriage instead of being supportive to their spouse is frankly a JERK! Just my humble oppinion :)

*WHERE I STAND: In my early adult years I simply can't deny that I adopted the "I refuse to become the stereotypical mom" mindset out of nothing more than pure vanity. Just being real. I vowed I would never let myself go no matter what!" Good goal (yes, I believe it is) but the mindset, the attitude and the true reasons behind it were dead wrong. Even then, I had great empathy for a new mother's challenges and always tried not to judge but, when it came to my own personal appearance, the fear of being judged was my main motivation. I had succumed to the pressures of society for sure!

Over a short amount of years, emotional and spiritual growth, getting a little older and good old experience in motherhood, Ive shifted my reasons for why I do what I do. I personally am someone who's looks will affect their mood. If I'm not "putting my best face forward" as they say, I feel it. On the other hand, when I do put aside 20/30 minutes for myself to get ready for the day, I find it makes a big difference in how I feel. I just feel better! For that reason I believe when a mom chooses to get made up, it should be because it makes HER feel good. It should be because it gives you a confidence boost and not because society thinks you should look like Victoria Beckam or Kelly Ripa! This is where I stand on the matter now.

The truth is, my routine hasn't changed but, my reasons have. I'm neither "obsessed" with my looks, nor do I feel comfortable leaving my house without makeup and looking frumpy. That's just me though. I'm just a girly girl who actually enjoys these types of things lol! That's not to say that I walk around pristine and perfect 24/7 either. I have my days like anyone else ;)

I just feel like for all the things I do for everyone else, I deserve to have that time to do something for me and to do something that helps me feel good about myself. Everyone deserves that. And YES, I do feel like you can be a mom and still be your best you but, A, I think we as a society need to broaden what that really means, and B, we need to do it for the right reasons, not because of pressure.

I think when we're looking at other mothers, we have to remember that they have different priorities and livestyles. Regardless of appearances, moms deserve a standing ovation for the incredible job they do of taking care of their families! But just remember moms, take care of you too! I believe all mothers need to find that one thing that makes them feel good and do it unapologetically as long as it's with reason. That might be getting in shape, making time for a day at the spa once in a while or it could be something as simple as having your toes done. It'll be different for most of us. Either way do it for you and not someone else! In the end, I think the old saying is true, "If mama's not happy, ain't nobody happy"! We mothers are pure, untampered with, unphotoshopped, raw beauties just because of who we are. Moms, you ARE beautiful



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