December 31, 2010

Stuck in my Pajamas

   I was sitting at my kitchen table eating breakfast and watching my boys play the Wii, in the pjs they've been wearing for the last few days.  It then suddenly occurred to me that I too had failed to change out of my pjs for the second or third day in a row.  Of course now I've started thinking how often am I too lazy to get dressed in the morning, since I'm not leaving the house.  I now hang my head in shame, knowing I'm lazy about getting dressed far too often.  And I'm teaching this laziness to my children by not having them get dressed and not setting the example.

   Getting dressed from head to toe each day is also about helping yourself to feel good.  As a WAHM you'll gain confidence and posture from being dressed head to toe.  I know most likely no one but the husband and kids will see you, but if you're the makeup wearing kind of gal, put a little makeup on too.  Just this simple act can change your day around.  You'll go from "Oh great, another day I have so much to do."  to "I feel Great!  I can't wait to meet today head on!"

   Some of my SAHM friends tell me they don't bother to get dressed just to do house work.  It makes sense that you wouldn't want to get your nice clothes dirty while taking care of the house.  But I still think SAHM's should get dressed from head to toe each day anyway.  So go ahead throw on your jeans and a t-shirt, add a little make up and feel good about the day ahead. 

   It's so easy for us mom's to forget about ourselves with everything else we need to do for our family.  One thing we can do for ourselves is dressing head to toe each and everyday.  This small little bit of "Me" time will help in so many ways.
  • You'll feel more confident
  • You'll feel pretty
  • Your kids will notice the good example your setting (They may never tell you, but they'll know)
  • Your spouse will notice (He may tell you with actions instead of words)
  • You'll reduce your stress by feeling good about your self
I'm going to challenge all you mom's who are home full time, to get out of your pajamas, get your clothing out of the closet, and get dresses from head to toe everyday!

December 24, 2010

My Morning Joe

I am one of those people who can't function with out my morning cup of coffee.  My children can even tell the difference between "mom before coffee" and "mom with coffee".  My oldest daughter even buys me a new mug for Yule every year.  As a WAHM I usually brew my own coffee at home.  Some days after the kids are off to school, I'll head out to my local D&D (my favorite) and treat my self to a cup o' joe.

Recently I had a friend point out something very interesting, my coffee comes in a styrofoam cup!  We are both very green gals, but here I am drinking my coffee from styrofoam,while she's using a paper cup.  Very embarrassing moment for me.  Well of course now I bring my own travel mug for a re-fill.  It's better for the environment and less expensive.  But I started to think about not only the environment, but how safe is it to be drinking out of a styrofoam cup?  Time to do some research, and I'm shock at the information I found.

Interesting fact that I don't think many of us know:  Styrofoam cups don't exist.  Styrofoam is a trade mark name for the foam material made by the Dow Chemical company.  They don't make any kind of food packaging.  So what are we drinking out of?  Polystyrene cups, commercially manufactured from petroleum.  Styrene (the basic chemical component) can leak into you food or drink and then into you. 
Studies suggest that styrene mimics estrogen in the body and can therefore disrupt normal hormone functions, possibly contributing to thyroid problems, menstrual irregularities, and other hormone-related problems, as well as breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Foods that are higher in fat and hot drinks can cause Styrene to leak faster.  This means coffee and tea can have more Styrene in them.  Also to-go foods like soups and chowders will have a higher amount of Styrene in them.  Branching out from our morning drinks and lunches on the go, you purchase items at the grocery store in Styrene containers.  Meats and cheese will have higher amounts of Styrene leaked into them.

Here are some safer options to consider.
  • Use ceramic cups and mugs.  Or go with paper cups.
  • If you work outside the home, share washing duties with your co-workers.  This will save on hot water usage.
  • Paper cups do create waste, but they are biodegradable, unlike Styrene cups.
  • Consider transferring food items bought at the grocery store into non-plastic containers, until ready to be cooked.
  • When getting take-out or "doggie bags" ask to have your food wrapped in foil.
Every where we go we are faced with Styrene containers.  Limiting your exposure and making safer choices is the best way to go.  Next time you head out to your favorite coffee shop, be safer and bring your own mug.

Note to Self: Buy a ceramic to-go coffee mug.

Enjoy you next cup 'o joe!

December 14, 2010

Scents of the Season

I love the scents of the Holidays!  Gingerbread, pine trees, pies and cookies baking, cinnamon, cranberry, and vanilla just put me in the holiday spirit.  I buy scented candles so the yummy aromas fill our house and add the light and warmth of the season.  What I don't love are the toxic fumes that candles produce.
Think about what popular candles are made from.
  • They are made of paraffin wax, a byproduct of petroleum. When burned, this candle wax can be a respiratory irritant.
  • Scented candles typically get their aromas from artificial fragrances made with phthalates, which can affect the hormonal system.  They also release toxic chemicals (such as formaldehyde and benzene – both of which are linked to cancer) into the air. These toxins may trigger or aggravate asthma and allergies, and may cause headaches.
  • Some candles have metal core wicks made of lead or lead-containing alloys. When burned, they may emit airborne lead and present a lead poisoning hazard to young children. Lead is toxic to a baby's brain.  These candles are now banned in the United States but may still be found rolling around in drawers, and imported candles may still have wicks with lead.
I now buy soy or beeswax candles.  They burn longer than traditional candles and release less soot from the wick.  Soy candles are also renewable and biodegradable.  And the best part is they don't release any toxic chemicals into the air.  Another way to bring Holiday aromas into your house is to make your own natural scents.  Try boiling cloves and cinnamon sticks in a pot on the stove.  You can also use citrus peels, cranberry juice/extract, nutmeg, or plant or flower petals to create other aromas.  Be sure to keep it out of reach of little hands.  Poking cloves into an orange creates a wonderful holiday scent.

Hope you enjoy these wonderful holiday aromas as much as we do.

December 7, 2010

Reducing Your Holiday Stress

As a work at home mom I know how important and stressful managing your time can be.  With work , kids activities, taking care of your home, and family time.  Around the holidays it seems like we have even less time for everything.  From Thanksgiving through New Years the time just seems to fly!  Our lives become crazy and even more stressful.  Here are ten ideas for helping reduce that Holiday stress.

  1. Take time for you.  Making time each day to do something you enjoy is important to your mental well being.  Because we all know that if Mom's not happy, no one is.  So go ahead and indulge; read a book, watch a movie, take a bath, take a walk, do some yoga, or just sit back with your feet up and relax.
  2. Keep the kitchen clean.  This is actually something I learned from my mom.  Nothing makes me say "grrr" like seeing the sink overflowing with dishes and the counter tops a mess.  I know I'm going to have a good day when I wake up and walk into a clean kitchen.  So if during this crazy season, you're unable to find the time to keep your house spotless, at least make sure the kitchen looks nice.
  3. Lists are a life saver.  Sometimes I feel like my brain is made of swiss cheese.  I write down everything that needs to be done.  If it doesn't go on my list it doesn't usually get done.  During the holidays this is super important to stay organized.
  4. Enlist the kids.  You've have more going on during the holidays, so get your kids to help out.  They can pick up an extra chore, help you decorate, and help with baking.  Older children can help out with wrapping presents.  Even toddlers and preschool aged children can help with simple jobs.
  5. Stick to the rules.  With your busy schedule it's easy to relax the house rules.  Now it's more important than ever to keep things the same.  Kids need structure and rules, so they know what is expected of them.  When you let them "get away" with breaking the rules during the holidays because you're busy, they don't know what to expect.  This makes your job as mom harder.
  6. Prioritize holiday invites.  It seems if everyone you know is having a holiday party and you're invited.  It's impossible to make every party, especially with kids or finding a sitter.  Our family tries to split our time between both sides of the family.  We usually decline other holiday invites or stop by for a brief appearence. 
  7. Stick to your budget.  Kids want every new toy that comes out.  We have our kids make wish lists, which we share with family who like to buy for them.  The kids know they won't get everything on their list and we can work with our budget to get items our kids will like.  If you have a large family on one side or both, setting up a "Secret Santa" or Yankee Swap helps everyones budget.
  8. Sleep.  I know how hard it is to stick to a regular sleep schedule when you have extra things to do during the holidays.  But if you're not getting enough sleep at night, you'll become cranky, irratable, and run down.
  9. Laugh, dance, and have fun.  Laughter is a great stress reducer.  Play with your kids or sit down together and watch a funny holiday movie.  Throw some holiday music on and dance around with your kids.  Little ones love to play and have fun and they often do the funniest things.  My older children make me smile when I can tell they're enjoying family time (even if they didn't want to).
  10. Remember the reason for the season. And teach it to your children. The holidays are not about how much stuff you can buy for others.  It's not about who's house has the best decorations or how many parties you go to.  Be thankful for everything you have and help others who are less fortunate than you.  Family is important, so enjoy the time you have with them (even the ones you don't really like). 
I hope this holiday season you and your family are happy, healthy, and have lots of fun!