5 Steps to Gain Refocus

5 Steps to Gain Focus
Life can get busy. In fact, it can get so busy that we get wrapped up in the day to day nuances that seem to take up all our time and attention and forget about stopping to take a moment and appreciating what we already have. I am often guilty of the overwhelm trap. In order to refocus, these are the 5 steps I take to begin moving forward again. 

 

The purpose of this post today is to help you recognize when you need to take a moment to stop, appreciate what you already have, and readjust your sails to make your thing (whatever that is) happen.

 

Knowing When to Refocus

For me personally, I know I need to slow down when I feel depleted. It used to happen all the time, but I would trudge forward anyway. Often I would get sick, making me stop in my tracks until my body could heal itself.

 

These days, I try to live with more intention, but sometimes I “forget” that, and try to do all the things all the time. I know it’s time to slow down when I get so frazzled that I want to throw in the towel. I know I need to slow down when I don’t sleep well. When this happens, I make a plan to stop as quickly as I possibly can to regroup.

 

For you, I would suggest paying attention to how you generally feel about your life in general. Are you feeling rushed? That might be a sign. Are you not getting enough rest? That’s another sign. Do you have a general feel of discontentment? That might be the biggest sign of all.

Appreciate the Journey to Now

The first thing I do when I slow down is take an assessment of what I already have and what I’ve accomplished. It reminds me to be grateful, and gratitude for me is something I’ve only recently really learned to appreciate. Also, it reminds me of how far I’ve come in my own personal journey. Little moments come back, and it fills me.

 

For you, what do you already have that fills your heart with happiness? Does it help you see how far you’ve come? Does it bring a smile to your face? I hope so. Because the one thing I know for sure, no matter where you are right now, you are ahead of where you started. That matters.

Practicing Gratitude

This goes hand in hand with appreciating what you already have, or achieved. It also goes hand in hand with the practice of gratitude. I’m not going to throw out some random study that gratitude is good for your health, but I do believe it to be true. I know when I sit in gratitude, if only for a moment, my heart calms, my stress goes away, and I generally just feel better.

If you practice sitting in gratitude, do you feel these things to? I hope so.

If you don’t practice gratitude, give it a try. I started by just giving thanks for all the good in my life. Then I began to list those things. That’s when it really shifted for me. I’d love to hear how it goes for you.

Where to Focus Next

The next things I do after sitting in gratitude is to make a very broadscope list of what I would like to focus on next. I usually set one big goal, and then 3 smaller goals that will help me get to the bigger one. For me, this keeps me from getting overwhelmed, and also keeps me from procrastinating. As of this writing, I previously posted my November goals. Here we are mid month, and I’m only hitting one of those goals so far. I’m not throwing in the towel on these goals, but I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t hit them.  

 

For you: I suggest setting one goal that you want to achieve in the next 9o days. It should be a little out of your comfort zone, but if you have never set goals before, just list out a few things you would like to achieve. There are a thousand and a half posts out there on goal setting, and soon I will be posting about how I do mine, but this post isn’t that one.

Moving Forward With Purpose

Once that is set, I can then refocus my efforts on the next thing. I’ve gone through my process of gratitude, laid out where I want to go next, and I’m almost always centered enough to tackle the next thing. If I find that I’m still scattered, or still feel overwhelmed, I might take an extra day to recharge my batteries.

 

I hope this helps you if you are feeling overwhelmed. If it does, please leave me a comment or a message and let me know. Also, if you have any tips that have worked for you – share them! I’m always looking for new ways to become more focused and more productive!

 

5 Easy Steps: Set up Your Blog Today

Set up your Blog in 5 Easy Steps

When I first decided that I wanted to have my own blog, I had so many questions! I googled a lot of what I needed to know, but not being techy, I didn’t understand half of what I read. That led to overwhelm, and procrastination.

In this post, I’m going to give you 5 easy steps that will help you get your blog started. You can easily get all five of these accomplished in an afternoon.

So, grab a cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice) and lets get started!

Pick a Topic

When I say pick a topic, I mean pick something you want to start writing about. Something you can chat about for hours and never get bored. Or pick something you want to teach someone. Maybe you are a crating ninja, you could easily start a crafting blog. Is cooking more your jam? Pick that topic.

Whatever you choose, I would just encourage you to have at least a moderate curiosity about. It will keep you interested and wanting to keep creating content.

I’ll talk about your ideal reader avatar in another post (hint: your ideal reader is just like you!), but let’s keep it simple today.

Have you picked your topic? Ok, this is what to do next:

Choose a Name/Set up Hosting

You have to pick a name for your blog and you have to decide on your hosting options. There are a lot of different options when it comes to hosting, but I really love and recommend Bluehost. When you sign up with Blue hosting, you are given a free year on your domain registered name. Not everyone does that.

When you choose your name, you can type in what you want, and if no one else has registered the same name, you are good to go! I know that choosing a .com is still the most popular, but don’t think you have to stick with that. Just make it easy for your readers to type in. I also wouldn’t have more than 3 words in my name. But you do you. That’s the name of the game.

Pick a Theme

Once you have your hosting and domain name setup, installed WordPress (Bluehost helps you do that too!), it’s time to pick a theme. This is where you can decide what you want your blog to look like. And this is what stops a lot of people in their tracks. Don’t let that be you. Just pick a free theme to get started. One of my most favorite free themes is Kale because it’s super clean. Check it out.

The one thing I will say when picking a theme is that you want to make sure that it’s readable on a mobile device. This is something I wished I had thought of at first.

Set up only the Important Things Now

After you pick your theme, spend a little bit of time setting up the important things. Once you are up and running, you can make things pretty, but for now, make sure that you have a way to start capturing new subscribers. I use and love Convert Kit for this. It’s a simple yet amazingly robust program that helps you communicate with your subscribers, set up opt-ins, and have that all in one place. You have a free 30 day trial with Convert Kit, so give them a try.

Make an About Me page, and also a contact page. You can spruce the up later, so don’t worry if they aren’t perfect.

Start Creating

Now comes the fun part!! Start creating your content! It really is that simple to get started. And the best part is that your blog is your little slice of the internet.

When you have about 10 posts up on your blog, then you can start focusing on growing your audience. The reason you want to have 10 posts on your blog is to give potential new readers a glimpse into what you are blogging about.

Don’t worry about trying to make everything perfect. You can always go back and change up your posts, make them SEO friendly, add photos, or swap out the photos you already posted.

Here’s a sweet little checklist I’ve created to help you get your blog set up in less than an afternoon!

 

I want to see what you are creating! Let me see by leaving a link to your blog in the comments. And know that I’m excited for you!

Oh, click here to read some blogging advice I used to take to heart. It was terrible!

Time to make your dream a reality!

November Goals

November GoalsNew month, who diss?

This is what I’m working on in November.

The biggest focus this month is on the blog, because it is what needs the most focus right now. As I learn more about how goal setting helps me grow, I’ll share how I go about my planning sessions, and I’ll probably make goals more detailed – but I really do try to work on at least 5 things a month in each area of my life.

Here are my November goals as of this moment.

Blog Goals

1. Publish every Tuesday 11am CST

2. Send 1 email every week to subscribers

3. Nail down content calendar

4. 15 new email subscribers

5. Create 1 content upgrade for each post – past and present

6. Grow twitter to 1000

7. 100 new FB likes for page

8. Start Instagram for blog

9. Finish setting up Pinterest for joyfultinyliving

10. Pin 5 pins for each board everyday using the 95/5 method (eventually working towards 50/50)

Personal Goals

1. Read 4 books + listen to 4

2. Physically move for 45 minutes a day

3. Put together meal plan to start in January

4. Finish up budget for end of 2018 and 1st quarter of 2019

5. Meditate 2 minutes daily

6. Goal plan for 2019

Work Goals

1. Maintain productivity schedule during uptick in season

Work is an easy one for me right now, as I feel I have a pretty good flow, but now that we are jumping into the busy season, I will probably have to adjust how I think about that.

Do you set monthly goals for yourself? If you do, how do you keep yourself accountable? Leave me a comment and share!

4 Blogging Tips that are Terrible

4 Blogging Tips that are Terrible
4 Blogging Tips that are Terrible

4 Blogging Tips that are Terrible

When you are starting something new, this could be anything; but I’m talking about blogging,  you will hear at least a million pieces of advice about your new thing. Some of it will be great, some will be good, and let’s face it: some will be TERRIBLE! Today, I’m going to go through some of the worst pieces of advice I’ve gotten about blogging and tell you why you don’t need to worry about it.

Don’t Even blogging Start Until You know What You are blogging about

This is terrible because while it’s important to know what you are writing about, it’s almost impossible to nail down just one thing. Most people are into a lot of different things, and it’s more likely you won’t write anything at all than narrow down to the one thing.
Yes it’s important to have a niche, I just don’t think you need to have it all figured out to get started.
Instead, write what you LOVE! Your audience will tell you what they want more of if you ask them.

Your Site Needs to Be Perfect First to start blogging

This isn’t great advice at all. Mostly because you really need to concentrate on creating content and getting that content published before making your site super pretty is important.

Start with a free theme. Pay attention to other bloggers and notice what themes they are using, and start a list. Keep it clean. More white space is easier to read, and that will help keep your readers coming back.
Also, make sure you have a way for your readers to subscribe. I love this one! That’s just as important as creating content. And once you have 1 subscriber, make sure you keep in touch with them every week, or whatever schedule you decide on. Not staying in contact with your subscribers is worse than not publishing posts.

Publish Something Everyday to your blog

I’ve heard this over and over, and I’m here to tell you that this is just crazy! Not only will that stress you out beyond belief, it will probably just make you chuck this while blog thing in the trash.

Instead, I would say choose a schedule that works best for you. I’ll take me as an example. I work a full time job, that is VERY demanding from November 1 to March 30th. At the end of the day, I’m happy if I can remember my own name, much less create something amazing. This doesn’t mean that I can ignore my blog during this time, it just means that I have to do it a little bit differently.

Your own schedule is probably a lot like mine. Are you a stay at home momma? Trust me when I say, your schedule is WAY harder than anything I can ever imagine. Plus, it’s way more important than I could ever make mine to be. Raising good humans is the hardest.thing.everrrrr! But don’t give up on your dream to help the world. Just figure out how to make it work for you.

I have a publish schedule of once a week (Tuesday 11am CST in case you are wondering 🙂 ). This is the post that I’ve spent an entire week perfecting to make sure it checks off all the boxes on my publishing checklist.

That’s my best advice for this: pick a schedule and stick to it. Consistency matters.

Run your Own Race with your blog

This is a weird one. It’s both AWESOME advice and also TERRIBLE.
The awesome part: it’s important to do your thing. You are the captain of your ship. It’s also completely and entirely up to you to create your dream. No one is gonna do it for you. That’s the truth.

The terrible part is this. You don’t have to do it alone. The truth is that the blogging community is an amazing group of people who can help you figure out what it is you can’t wrap your head around. They will be the ones who help keep you going when you don’t think you have it in you.

Find your blogging tribe. Find them and love them hard. This is a part of the blog life that I never knew existed, and if I had, I know for a fact I would be much farther along than I am now. This community has taught me it’s ok to not be perfect, but to not do anything is not ok. I’ve learned more from this community in 2 weeks, than I have in 9 years of trying to figure it out myself. Don’t be like me when it comes to thinking you can do it all with no help. That’s just silly.

What’s some advice that you’ve received that has either resonated in your heart, or you’ve thrown out like last weeks leftovers. Let me know in the comments!

4 Blogging Tips that are Terrible

My Favorite 2 Ingredient Room Spray

This simple two ingredient citrus room spray is the best and easiest room fresher out there! Plus, it's toxin free and customizable. Make it today!

 

This simple two ingredient citrus room spray is the best and easiest room fresher out there! Plus, it's toxin free and customizable. Make it today!This simple two ingredient citrus room spray is the best and easiest room fresher out there! Plus, it's toxin free and customizable. Make it today!

This simple two ingredient citrus room spray is the best and easiest room fresher out there! Plus, it's toxin free and customizable. Make it today!

I can’t be the only person on the planet that has a room spray addiction.  I love making a room smell fresh in an instant, and right now, it’s all about citrus in the Lawrenz casa. Lemon, orange, tangerine, grapefruit and Bergamot. HEAVEN!!!

Am I totally alone here?

My name is Susan, and I am a room spray addict…

If there were a support group for people who loved room sprays, I know for sure I would be there! I used to have one (or 3!) for every room – it wasn’t pretty Y’all!  I needed to save me from myself!

So when I discovered essential oils, I was excited about going natural – and started making my own sprays. So much cheaper, and super customizable!

This is my favorite recipe though. 2 ingredients.  Sometimes, I will just use one oil when mixing this up, but more often than not, I add all of the citrus together – it’s bright without being overpowering.

The best part is if we get a little spray happy (it totally happens) I’m not worried that we are inhaling anything bad for us! A total win!

Here’s the recipe I use weekly:

This simple two ingredient citrus room spray is the best and easiest room fresher out there! Plus, it's toxin free and customizable. Make it today!

 

Ingredients

½ cup distilled water

20 drops citrus oil or blend

Instructions

Combine water and essential oil in 8-ounce glass spray bottle. 

Shake before each use.

This simple two ingredient citrus room spray is the best and easiest room fresher out there! Plus, it's toxin free and customizable. Make it today!

 

 

 

Tip: Use more or less essential oil to control the strength of the aroma.

This simple two ingredient citrus room spray is the best and easiest room fresher out there! Plus, it's toxin free and customizable. Make it today!

10 Ways to Keep it Clean: Lemon Essential Oil

keep it clean with lemon essential oil

Having a clean home is one of the best ways I’ve found that keeps my sanity in check. Cleaning is one of the ways that I decompress from a stressful day or situation. There’s something about zoning into the process that is super calming for me.

What I don’t love so much though, are all of the chemicals that are in everyday home cleaners. They dry out my skin, leave a weird film that doesn’t ever seem to go away, and I never feel like I’ve done a good job when I use them.

Thankfully though, I don’t have to worry about any of that anymore. I have switched all of my cleaning products over to essential oils. From general purpose cleaning to laundry, oils have replaced all of the toxins and nasty chemicals.

My favorite oil out of all the ones I use for cleaning is lemon oil. I think it’s perfect for everything from countertops to bathroom cleaning. I adda couple of drops to laundry for a fresh scent, and I concoct a recipe that has lemon oil in it for cleaning my floors too. It’s perfect for so many uses.

keep it clean with lemon essential oil

10 ways that I use lemon oil to keep my house fresh

1. Microwave—Microwaves are notorious for being tough to clean, especially after mishaps involving spaghetti sauce or tomato soup. To ease the pain of cleaning, simply microwave a cup filled with water and a few drops of Lemon, then wipe clean!

2. Dishwasher—Pour distilled vinegar into a dish and add 5–10 drops of Lemon oil. Place this dish in your empty dishwasher and run on high.

3. Stove Top—Lemon oil makes cleaning one of the dirtiest areas of the kitchen easy. Add vinegar and Lemon to a spray bottle, and watch the grime disappear!keep it clean with lemon essential oil

4. Appliances—From dust to greasy food spills, appliances collect more dirt than you might think. A simple solution of Lemon oil, water, and vinegar will help you clean toasters, refrigerators, mixers, and more.

5. Garbage disposal—If you’ve been smelling something funky coming from your sink, it might be time to clean the garbage disposal. This DIY for Lemon disposal refreshers should help!

6. Ceiling Fan—Fan blades collect dust at turbo speeds and cling to them for as long as you let them. To avoid choking on dust bunnies while cleaning your ceiling fans, spray the inside of an old pillow case with a Lemon/water mixture and loop the fabric around each blade.

7. Washing Machine—Run a mixture of Lemon oil, baking soda, vinegar, and water through your empty machine on the hottest setting to break up dirt build-up and mildew. Scrub any excess with a sponge, then run the machine again with fresh water.keep it clean with lemon essential oil

8. Trash Cans—Regularly cleaning out trash cans can eliminate odor. For indoor trash cans, spray the inside and outside of each can with a mixture of water, Lemon oil, and vinegar, then scrub with a sponge.

9. Windows and Windowsills—The same mixture of Lemon oil, water, and vinegar in a spray bottle that you’ve been using all around the house will do wonders for your windows and windowsills. Simply spray glass and wipe with a clean cloth or paper towel, then move onto ledges and sills with a toothbrush or damp sponge.

10. Air Vents—One of the most overlooked areas to keep clean in your home is the air you breathe! Clean vents with a sponge dipped in warm water, vinegar and Lemon oil to help eliminate allergens and dust from filling the air around you.

It is such a powerful oil! Give it a try and let me know your favorite way to use lemon essential oil in your cleaning routine.

5 Simple Ways to Adjust to A New Hometown

making a new hometown feel like home

making a new hometown feel like home

making a new home town feel like home

We recently moved to a new hometown for us,  and have decided that we like it so much, we are going to stay here for a while – a long while.

While moving to a new town can seem daunting, I can promise that it’s not. In fact, it can be both fun, educational and most of all: liberating.

Being a Navy brat growing up, I got to travel around a bit. New schools, new friends, you know, all the stuff that goes with that. When I was a kid though, I never really embraced it like I do now. I love the feeling of moving somewhere new -not knowing anyone, and forging my path.

But I know, that not everyone has these same feelings. So I want to share the 5 things I do to make a new town MY town in a month or less of moving there.

The 5 things I do to make a new town feel like mine

1.Explore my new hometown without a map.

I do this within a couple of days. By simply driving around the area without a map, it gets me familiar with the area. I’m lucky in that I have a pretty good sense of direction, and I don’t need to pull out Google Maps very often. I’ve fund by doing this as soon as I possibly can, I feel like I have a better sense of where I am in the town.

2. Eat where the locals eat

I like to eat in the local spots – the ones that have been around forever, or the new startups run by a local person. This gives me a sense of how the people really are – friendly (or not). By doing this within the first week of landing somewhere, I can get a sense of how I’m going to like living there. Talking with folks, getting to know them helps to start new relationships and make a new town seem less lonely.

3. Tour the grocery stores my new hometown

Within the first 3 weeks of being somewhere new, I’ve explored at least 3 grocery stores. I’m looking for the best produce, best selection, and probably the most important to me: the best vibe. That might sound a little crazy, but if I walk into a store and the employees aren’t happy, it’s probably not a store that I want to shop in on the regular. And if the produce isn’t pretty and fresh: I’m definitely not shopping there. That’s a deal breaker for me. But by the third week, I generally have a sense as to where I’m going to do a lot of my everyday shopping.

4. Walking tour of the downtown area

This is one of my most favorite ways to get to know an area besides the first step I take. A walking tour of a downtown area tells me a lot about what the city is doing to keep that area alive (or not0. It also gives me sense of where I will conduct a lot of business. Small mom and pop stores, boutiques and cafes are again, where I like to hang out to really get to know people and build relationships. I’ve always made sure to do this within a month of moving.

5. Research hometown events

I love local events, farmers markets and local festivals. These are the things that really tie a community together, and I like to be aware of the particulars. For example, it’s the middle of summer now, and it’s HOT. Most of the festivals here are more in the fall and winter, same with farmers markets. Where I’m from, these types of things are all happening during the summer months. I get it of course, it’s much too hot to have these events now. But I’m sure looking forward to the fall when I can start enjoying more farm fresh goods and interact with the locals at fun monthly events.

There are so many ways to make a new hometown feel like yo’ve been there forever and these are the 5 most important steps that I’ve taken to acclimate myself somewhere new.

Now I want to hear from you! Tell me: have you ever moved somewhere new? What did you do to feel more comfortable?

How to Make a New Home Town Feel Like Home

The Only Bug Bite Relief You Need To Know About Right Now

the.only.bug.bite.relief.you.need.right.now

 

Bug Bites are the bain of many people’s existence! I can’t think of one person I’ve ever talked to that hasn’t lamented about the nonstop itchiness from a mosquito bite!

Recently, we moved to South Texas. First of all, I love the weather here – it allows us to be able to do all the things we love: from campouts to barbeques and spending lots of time outside.  What I haven’t loved as much is an increase in bug bites. Let’s be real here – I’m talking about ALL OF THE BUG BITES!

When these mosquitos attack, they draw a tiny amount of blood while simultaneously injecting some of their own salivae into your skin. This foreign substance causes your body to release histamine as an immunity defense, which can result in itchiness. Luckily, I’ve found the essential oils blend that helps relieve the itch. Because I need to get a good night’s sleep!

The best part? It’s completely natural and very inexpensive!

This simple DIY Bug Bite rollerball recipe combines the powerful soothing properties of Lavender with the cooling impact of Peppermint. Together, these oils help alleviate skin irritation and put your mind at ease.

This is a great option to try: add Purify Cleansing Blend to your roller bottle instead. This powerful blend of citrus and fir oils helps cleanse and protect the skin.

Ingredients

As an alternative, you can also use this:

Instructions

  1. Add Fractionated Coconut Oil to empty 10 mL roller bottle.
  2. Next, add the essential oils of your choice.
  3. Secure the lid to your roller bottle and shake until ingredients combine.
  4. Apply as needed.

 

Don’t let bugs ruin your summer fun. Once you’ve created your Bug Bite Relief blend, be sure to have it on hand at the next outdoor activity.

I hope this helps to bring some relief! Do you have a favorite way to get rid of the itch? Let me know!

Are bug bites ruining your summer fun? Don't let them! Learn how to stop the itch by clicking here! Are bug bites ruining your summer fun? Don't let them! Learn how to stop the itch by clicking here! Are bug bites ruining your summer fun? Don't let them! Learn how to stop the itch by clicking here! Are bug bites ruining your summer fun? Don't let them! Learn how to stop the itch by clicking here! the.only.bug.bite.relief.you.need.right.now Are bug bites ruining your summer fun? Don't let them! Learn how to stop the itch by clicking here!
Are bug bites ruining your summer fun? Don't let them! Learn how to stop the itch by clicking here!

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3 Nutrition Tips That Work

When I decided to make real changes for my health, besides getting into a doctor, and getting myself back in to the gym, the biggest challenge was to make real changes to what and how I eat and look at nutrition as a whole.

Let me be real for a minute. I eat like a bachelor. Or rather, I did. More often than not breakfast was Starbucks (hello sugar, fat and oh my word expensive!!), then maybe later chips or candy. Dinner would almost always be out. Because of my work schedule, I am almost never home around meal times. Olive Garden, Outback, Texas Roadhouse are among favorites – haha.

Looking at this pattern, it’s super easy for me to see how my weight and health got so out of control. And because I am on my feet and moving around a lot for my job, I never “look” like I might have a problem.

But I did. My doc told me that I am at an elevated risk for heart disease. If I didn’t make changes immediately, I could end up in the hospital.

G.U.L.P.

Making nutrition changes aren’t that easy though, especially with a stupid crazy work schedule. But here are the things I’m doing now that have made a difference in how I feel. It’s also working – yay!

Food Tracking

I personally love and use My Fitness Pal. It seems to be the most intuitive app for me and I’ve been pretty good about making sure I keep everything tracked at least once a day. Sure I still have days where I forget, but baby steps, right? It also helps me track water intake and exercise. Yay for tools that help!

 Daily Supplements

My doc has be on a series of supplements from Pure Encapsulations, Claire Labs and Thorne. Since starting these 3 months ago, I can honestly say that I can tell a difference. With so many options out there for supplements, I can say that I’m very happy with these.

Cheat Days

Not everyday is going to be perfect, and I finally am at peace with that. I used to beat myself up over not eating perfectly clean, or wanting that cookie (umm, hello Holiday season!), but not anymore.

What are the things that you do for yourself to keep accountable in the food department? I would love to know!