Sunday is one of my favorite days, sleeping in (well as late as you can with two kids), football and football snacks, family dinner and of course prep work. I use Sunday to make my week much more efficient. With a commute of an hour to and from work, my mornings have to start pretty early to get the kids ready and out the door and my nights are shorter to get on dinner and actually hang out with my family before it is time for baths, books and bed. To maximize my available time and to reduce my stress level, I do a few things on Sunday and it makes a world of difference. Here is my Sunday Prep list. Some things might work for you and some may not, but regardless whether you do 1 or all of the items your week will be a little less busy and a whole lot more streamlined.
Plan out your dinners for the week and go grocery shopping for all the items needed to make them. I am a habitual Pinterest pinner so now on Sundays I go through all my “Food” pins and pick 5 I want to make for dinner. This allows me to start dinner right when I get home or put it in the crockpot the morning of and it saves me from having to hit up the grocery store during the week multiple times. It also helps me clear out all the pins I have and feel like I am actually doing something with them.
Pull out your vitamins for the week and put into a weekly container. This is a small one but it makes a big difference. I just grab my vitamin container throw it in my car and then I am set.
Pay Bills and write out checks. I do most of my banking online so on Sundays I sit down with my mail pile and I enter in all my bills that need to be paid. I also write out all of the checks that need to be sent including my check for daycare. By keeping up on it weekly it saves you time and money (no late fees)!
Prepare food items that will last all week for quick grab-and-go options either for breakfast or lunch. Examples would be Overnight Oats (see recipe below for one of my favorites), hard boiled eggs, baked chicken, etc. It is so nice to just have things on hand that I can grab quick that are “better” for me than a bag of chips and a lean cuisine.
Pick out your outfits for work (and if you get really ambitious, pick out your kids’ clothes as well). I just look at the weather forecast ahead of time and then pick out 6-7 outfits. The reason for 6-7 vs. 5 for the 5 days I work is so that if something just doesn’t feel right or maybe the weather shifted a bit I have another option.
Purse/Bag dump. Every Sunday I take my purse and any bags out of my car and clean them out and replenish them. My two kids are 2 and 4 months so diaper bags constantly need to be cleaned out and refreshed with items. Also my purse gathers multiple receipts and other items, and it feels so good to clean it out and prepare it for the week to come.
Wash your bed sheets. This one might seem a little crazy but there is nothing better than starting your work week off with good smelling, feel good sheets.
Overnight Oats Recipe
18oz Fage Vanilla Fruyo Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 1/2 tsps. Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tsps. Almond Extract
Mix all items together and put in individual glass mason jars (I use 4-5 of the 4oz mason jars). Put in fridge and grab one out each day of the week. When I go to eat mine I add some Raw Honey and Sliced Almonds for crunch.
Dana Neal – Spa Manager, Group Fitness Instructor and Mother of 2
Keeping your kids healthy and yourself healthy can be a task, especially when your kids are in school and the number of germs they come in contact with multiples before your eyes. Recently the FDA banned 19 ingredients commonly found in antibacterial soaps and washes including two suspected endocrine disruptors linked to reproductive and developmental harm. With the new ruling combined with the back to school season, Kneaded Relief wanted to provide you with an alternative way to protect yourself and kids without using the antibacterial soaps out there.
Young Living Thieves Essential Oil is a combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata and rosemary essential oils. The name was inspired by the legend of four 15th century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary and other botanicals to use to protect themselves from disease while robbing the dead and dying. Thieves oil can be used in a variety of ways to help protect your family’s health and it also keeps all of the harsh chemicals out of the body as well.
How to Use:
Topical: Dilute 1 drop with 4 drops of olive oil. Test on small area of skin on underside of arm. Apply to desired area as needed.
Aromatic: Diffuse up to 10 minutes 3 times daily to help create a fresh environment
Refresh musty carpets by adding 5 drops of Thieves to a cup of baking soda; combine well and let sit overnight until the oil is absorbed. Sprinkle over carpets and vacuum thoroughly.
Put a few drops in your dishwater or dishwasher to thoroughly clean dishes and eliminate odor.
Put a few drops of Thieves in a capsule and swallow with water to support your immune system.
When using Thieves oil with children Young Living gives the following information:
We suggest consulting a health care provider to determine what is right for your children. We recommend referring to the individual label directions for any age restrictions as well. Essential oils should be diluted for use on children. We suggest using a patch test procedure prior to ensure the oil is properly diluted for the child. To perform a patch test, apply 1-2 drops of essential oil to a patch of skin such as the forearm.
To safeguard the health of your children, the essential oils should not be diffused in their immediate proximity or for long periods of time without the prior consent of a pediatric physician. We also suggest diffusing a small amount of essential oil for short periods of time until you have determined if your children have any sensitivity to diffusing.
Every child is different and may react differently. Typically, sensitivity to diffusing essential oils is demonstrated by irritated or itchy eyes, nose and/or throat. The child may cough, have a runny nose or rub their eyes and nose frequently. Your child’s pediatrician may be able to offer you specific advice for their needs.
The term “active listening” has become quite popular in the world of business. It challenges team members, managers, and owners when entering into a conversation, to listen to the other person in a way that they are then able to reflect back to the employee the essence of their words and emotions. When engaging in active listening, the participant is laser focused on what is being said, the body gestures and the energy surrounding the conversation. What we want to know is whether or not you are actively listening to your body? Do you take the time to focus in on what your body is saying, the language of your posture and the energy that you are giving off?
Your body talks to you in a variety of ways, but unfortunately it becomes practice to ignore the signs that are being presented so as to continue on with whatever task or life moment that is happening. Sometimes we are scared to listen to our bodies. They might be telling us that we need to go slower, or change in some way. They might be telling us to stop something all together and we might just not want to do that. A person should not be scared though to listen to their bodies. By hearing the signals you are then able to make an informed choice about what to do next. It gives you the power to make the call that is right for you.
The body can talk in a variety of ways, but here are just a few to get you started on your active listening journey.
1. Skin feels dry and tight = your body could be saying that you are dehydrated and need to drink some more water.
2. Your calf cramps at night = you are in need of potassium. Eating a banana could help.
3. You have a sharp pain in your low back = you might be suffering from a pulled muscle or strain due to a recent or continuous activity. Assess what you have been doing lately and then get checked out by a doctor.
4. You get a stomach ache before you go to work = maybe your job is causing undo stress.
5. A headache comes on when you are outside = are you wearing sunglasses? Perhaps you are squinting and causing your head to hurt.
Whatever your body is saying it is important to actively listen to it and not ignore it. By listening you will become more engaged and aware of yourself and in turn you will live a happier and healthier life.