Back-to-SchoolThe panic is setting in. Only two weeks until school starts!

Are you panicking too? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Let’s tame this back to school madness by creating a plan.

1. Create a list of what needs to be done.

Off the top of my head, here’s a list of what I need to do:

  • Get the kids to finish their summer reading.
  • Get haircuts.
  • Shop for school supplies.
  • Shop for uniforms and shoes.
  • Does anyone need an immunization booster?
  • Complete enrollment paperwork.

Now, spend the next five minutes creating your list. There may be more things, but let’s work with what we have for now.

2. Schedule the tasks.

Next, pull out the calendar so you can see the next two weeks. On the first available day, schedule all the appointments you need to make. Then, get the school supply and uniform lists. Schedule another day to do the shopping. If you’re like me and can’t handle shopping all day, break up the shopping over several days. Maybe do school supplies one day and uniforms a couple days later.

3. Cross things off your list and celebrate as you complete them.

It’s a great feeling when you’re getting things done.

Don’t forget to save some days to get some last-minute fun in before the frenzy of the school year begins. Once school starts, it’s a blur until Christmas, am I right?

I want to know, what’s on your list and when do your kids go back to school?

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Photo credit: Vecteezy.com

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As I travel this journey to learn more about my anxiety, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I experience emotions with an intensity I’m not necessarily comfortable with. I wish I was less inclined, I really do.

And everyday, the anxiety taps on my shoulder just to remind me it’s there – always.

 

Last night, a tragic theater shooting occurred in Lafayette, La. You can find the details here.

It’s a city close to my heart. I grew up in its shadows. My brothers all attended college there. I have many friends and relatives who proudly call Lafayette home.

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The tragedy is incomprehensible.

So what is my anxious heart supposed to do in the wake of such tragedy?

My first instinct is to stuff those feelings deep down and deny them. Well, as any anxiety sufferer will tell you, that’s not always helpful.

So I’m trying to lean in to the sadness and despair. I’m listening to the little child inside who’s scared, who wants to embrace her loved ones in security and never leave her house. How do I comfort her though? Where are the words of wisdom?

The words came to me through an email, of all places.

I’ve been following author Jon Acuff for a bit now after the launch of his latest book, Do Over. It was an email about his latest blog post, something I usually leave to read until later. (That’s why I have over 2,000 unread emails in my inbox!)

I opened it and read it, partly to escape the emotions I’m feeling. Let me concentrate on something productive instead of this sadness I can’t process, I thought.

Then the words of wisdom appeared out of nowhere, at the end of his post.

Be a candle for each other in this dark world. Keep the faith. Never lose hope.

That’s what my anxious self will hold on to for now.

 

 

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Photo credits: The “Love Lafayette” logo is circulating on Facebook…not sure of the designer. The frame for the quote is available through www.vecteezy.com.

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Techie-Tuesday-GraphicI’ve read somewhere that watching those silly cat videos actually boosts productivity and mood.

I’m not really a video person, but I do have a slight addiction to Pinterest. OK, it’s more than a slight addiction.

So I’m using Pinterest’s power for good. I created a board called Things That Make You Go Awwww. Whenever I find a picture of a small, fuzzy animal or a cute baby smiling, I pin that picture.

The purpose behind the board is so I can pull it up and look at cute pictures and pull myself out of a funk.

Does it work?

Today it did.

I was in the middle of a good pity party with my favorite guests Negative Thoughts and Self-Doubt. It was quite the affair. Since I had run out of lives in Candy Crush, I sat down at my laptop and went to Pinterest. Immediately a picture of a puppy appeared, and I remembered my board and my plan.

As I scrolled through all the puppy eyes, mommy animals snuggling baby animals, baby smiles, and kitten antics, I could feel my spirits lifting and the pity party ended.

A few minutes of free therapy.

Give a try. Below is a link to my board Things That Make You Go Awwww, or you can create your own. Let me know how it goes!

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Follow Sally’s board Things That Make You Go Awww on Pinterest.

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I’m running out of ideas for meals. Spaghetti, tacos, baked chicken. I think I cook these every week, and I’m bored!

I’m not a big fan of cooking in the first place. I’ll eat a sandwich anytime. My family? Not so much.

For inspiration, I decided to dig through the ole recipe binder. It’s full of recipes I’ve printed and collected over the years. Judging by the stains on this one recipe, it used to be a favorite. It’s so old, however, that it’s not on Allrecipes.com anymore!

Chicken Fajita Pasta Toss

Now I remember why it was a favorite! Everyone enjoyed it. It’s a little spicy, so adjust the amount of green chiles to your liking. I also used a pre-chopped onion/bell pepper mix I found in the produce section to save time.

It just goes to show you never know what you’re going to find in those recipe binders and cookbooks shelved away. Crack one open today and revive an old favorite.

Below is the recipe I used for dinner last night. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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Chicken Fajita Pasta

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Chicken Fajita Pasta

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. vermicelli or thin spaghetti, cooked, drained, and kept warm
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup sliced green bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. diced green chiles
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 package of fajita seasoning mix

Instructions

  1. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
  3. Add onion, bell pepper, and chiles; cook, stirring frequently 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the taco sauce, water, and fajita seasoning mix.
  5. Pour mixture into skillet with chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  7. Add in pasta and toss.
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Beautiful title, right? It took me 30 minutes just to come up with that. Summer brain, am I right?

I was finally getting my routine down as a new SAHM. Then school ended, and now I’m a SAHM with kids underfoot ALL the time. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my kids. I just haven’t spent this much time with them solo because up until nine months ago, I was a mom that worked outside the home full-time.

Routine CoverI do have an announcement though. I’ve recently launched an Etsy store where I’m selling planning pages.

These are pages I’ve designed and use to help me plan my day, stay on routine, and plan my grocery shopping. Now I’m making them available on Etsy. Check them out.

I hope they will help you as much as they’ve helped me. The Shopping List alone has saved me 30 minutes in the store.

For my wonderful friends, I’m offering you a free sample. Spread the word!

Click here to download a sample.

 

 

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