Family · Kids · Mommies · Stress Relief · Ulcerative Colitis

Guide to a Stress Free Start to Your Week


Adulting is time consuming & stressful but what if you could reduce your stress. Can you imagine being able to say, “I have time for that” instead of “there’s no time for that”?

I find my mind wondering to ways I can prepare myself on the weekends so that our house runs smoother during the week and reduces stress. Some evenings, I don’t get home until the boys bedtime or later so having plans made & the house in working order is a must for us when Monday rolls around.

Don’t get me wrong, I married superman but a good marriage is about teamwork and we try to be consistent when it comes to a 50/50 split. Ok, ok, I might not be so good at cleaning but I cook so it gives him energy to clean. 😉

Here’s my favorite tips on building a stress-free week.

1. Do your laundry on the weekends. Between the constant weekend errands & church & family & friends, I still find myself eager to get all the laundry washed, dried, folded or hung up before our eyes shut tight to start a new week. It gives me a sense of accomplishment!

Image result for never ending laundry basket

I think this habit started for our family when we were first married & lived in an apartment. I would rather have just bought new clothes weekly than carry ten ton laundry baskets across an apartment complex & go back again & again to check on it. Don’t ask why I didn’t just drive the baskets to the laundry room, I was younger back then.

Laundry on the weekend gives you more control over your weekday evenings & you won’t find yourself falling asleep thinking “is my favorite outfit clean?”

Tip: I have found the laundry runs much smoother when we do the kids laundry on Saturday & our laundry on Sunday. Why break it up & not just pile it? If you wash the laundry room by room, you only have one room at a time to put clothes up in. It goes much faster & there’s less chance for toddler hands to try to sweetly “help” fold things.

2. Relaxing “me” time on the weekends is a must to reduce your stress. Happy wife=happy life!

Image result for happy wife happy lifeYou can try these things to have a little “me” time:

  • Unrushed showers- You know, actutally rinse the conditioner completely out and shave!
  • New face mask- Personal fave right now is the Mary Kay Charcoal Mask.
  • File your forgotten nails- I forget this for weeks at a time. You could add this in while letting your mask dry.
  • Go to the bathroom without children barging in- Just a dream!
  • My personal fave…Tell your family your going to pick weeds from the garden so you can go enjoy mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest or your favorite blog, www.sparklewithuc.com uninterrupted, you can always pick weeds for real later. Don’t forget your cup of coffee & some sunglasses! You may be there awhile or until some tiny human sniffs you out.

Your week will run much smoother when you are less stressed which means your house will be more likely to be calm & peaceful which, lets be honest, translates into less mommy yelling & less guzzling of adult grape juice.

Glass of Wine on the Table Free Image Download

3. Grocery shop on Sunday afternoon or whichever day you choose. My children have started eating like ravenous bears before hibernation every night before bed & anytime we’re about to eat a meal. This doesn’t help me avoid the grocery store but I’m glad they’re eating something other than GoGurt & cereal bars these days.

This is momma’s dream cart, full of adult grape juice!

By shopping on the weekends you will start your week with the peace of mind that the fridge is full & ready for your little bears to snack away & eat you out of house & home. You will also know what meals you can make throughout the week so you can have meat defrosted or I know ahead of time if I need to pick up any items from the store on my way home.

4. Cash budgeters listen up. We are giving this our best shot but it doesn’t work so well if I wait until a weekday to pick money up from the bank. We have such a smooth way of talking ourselves into eating out that “just this one time” eating out without our cash turns into 2 or 3 different meals.

When your out and about on Friday (or Saturday if you have a bank that’s open on Saturdays), take out your food and gas allowance for that week. If you’re just an amazing planner, you might even be able to take out the next few weeks worth until payday hits again. That would prevent any lapse of your cash flow so you don’t have any need for your debit card.

5. Last but not least, family time. With two youngins, spending extra time with them before the crazy week begins is a must for them & us. Sunday night dinner is usually the time that we talk about what is coming up the next week between both our jobs, my oldests’ school activities and my classes. I’m soooooo ready to be finished with my master’s. 21 hrs down, 15 hrs to go!

I know that there are things that I don’t realize that I do to help reduce stress during the week but I will tell you that I have incorporated stress reduction into my daily life, fairly seamlessly.

Comment below to share your ideas for reducing your stress.

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Family · Health · Kids · Mommies · Recipes · Smoothie · Sparkle

Apple-Strawberry Popsicles

Sweet summa-time! We love summer around this joint! Pretty weather, lots of time in the swimming pool & no where to be!!!!!

So, my backyard doesn’t quite look this but a girl can dream!

Anywho, what brings me to you today is a need for popsicles. I really just need to sneak healthy in in anyway that I can so I thought why not make a nutritious popsicle for my little guys.

Another requirement was that it had to be simple so that they could help me make their treats. We chose to make apple-strawberry popsicles because Luke likes apples & Jaxson loves cutting the tops off strawberries. Definitely solid reasoning for our flavors.

I know, this is just a plain ‘ole apple. Choose whatever flavor apple you enjoy most, but the sweeter the better. You will notice a remote control monster truck in the background. That’s where baby man was sitting while he helped.

Now that looks like a few apples but you only need one per ice tray, I just sliced it crazy.

Some people might want to leave the strawberry stems & leaves for whatever reason they may have but it will give you a bitter taste so I recommend cutting the tops off of 5 strawberries. No extra chopping necessary because your Nutribullet will do the rest.

Just to let you know, affiliate links are contained in this post and if you order through the links, we receive a small percentage of your purchase at zero extra cost to you.

My absolute favorite mixing tool EVER is my NutriBullet RX! If you don’t have one, get one……..Now!!!!! (I have not been paid by Nutribullet to say that, but if you want to order one, click on the link below.) Seriously, I don’t think my life would be the same without it! In fact, Nutriblasts (Nutribullet smoothies) got me healthy enough to have baby #2 in 2014.

 

Add 1 1/2 cups of water to blend. This makes the juice semi-thick so that it freezes well. It’s not so thin it’s a juice & not so thick you have chunks. If you want fruit chunks, prepare additional strawberries to place in the ice tray before pouring. Slice the strawberries very thin so you still get a good amount of juice within each pop.

This is like staring into the abyss, the apple-strawberry, healthy, popsicle abyss! By the way, I can’t mention these are healthy to my kids because it will automatically look like liver to them so they are just non-specific popsicles. 😉

Nothing needed to prepare your ice tray. Just pour your deliciousness into the cube compartments without making a complete mess! Ok, so I may have made a big mess but it was within the ice tray so no party foul!

On that note, I have included a pic of the best way for adults to use these popsicles so read to the bottom.

The final piece to preparation is to place Saran Wrap tightly over the top of the ice cube tray & poke toothpicks into each cube for a holder. Put your tray in the freezer & go play.


After we went to the park, road bikes & had pizza, it was time! J-Ray, my oldest, was beyond impressed with our handiwork. That’s a thumbs up & a wink. He’s multitalented like his mother who is also very humble!

Luke might have fallen asleep with so much anticipation, or maybe he didn’t have a nap!

This thumbs up is for what I knew would be a glorious beverage with apple-strawberry ice cubes after the kiddos are in bed.

The absolute best part about these Popsicles is that they are all natural. Ok, maybe there’s several “best parts”.

The kids can help & they were pretty impressed at their product.

Also, they were super easy to make with a 5 minute prep time & 5 minutes from blending to freezer. The hardest part about it was waiting to try them!

So I promised that picture!

I have a giant obsession with sangria right now & I typically add fruit juice & fruit slices to my wine but these little Popsicles double as the fruit & juice. Yay!

I wait about the length of 3 Super Mario games & the cubes have melted enough to get fruity taste.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible if you poke yourself in the nose while drinking.

Health · Mommies · Stress Relief · Ulcerative Colitis

I ❤️ naps!


I mean, I really really love nap time, especially those weekends following crazy weeks where our household doesn’t stop going until bedtime. Today after supervising a group of STAAR testers & then keeping them quiet for another hour after they finished testing. I’m exhausted! I could really use a nap!

This is my second blog about naps so I might have an unhealthy attachment to napping of any length. I’m best with a few hours but I’ll take a cat nap if that’s all I can get.

Through my research I’ve learned that 10 to 20 mins boosts alertness & energy. Yay for that, but it’s a little too short for me. 60 mins shows an improvement in remembering facts. Awesome! This is what my school kids need everyday. Why did we stop napping after kindergarten if it’s so beneficial to memory?! 90 mins can show improved emotional & procedural memory & creativity. Once again, that would be super beneficial in school.

Sadly, somedays I’m lucky to get a short power nap before my littlest man wakes up from his nap. Power naps greatly benefit areas that I’m seriously lacking in. Probably most of my issues can be contributed to having children or sleep deprivation but some could come from my diseases. 

I am probably extremely boring to those around me but I find a nap exciting! I am a WILD woman! This picture is so true, minus the quilting, I’ve never done that.

I can’t wait until the weekend for my naps!