Me Time & Tee Time with Zany Du Designs

Working from home, while a wee lonely and monotonous at times, has its perks. Take the past two weeks for example. Every single morning for the past two weeks, I've been waking up and delaying my work day to give myself some me time. It's been a total game changer for me.

On a typical day, I wakeup, power on my Mac, brew myself a cup of coffee that I inevitably forget about, and begin my work day. But lately I've been throwing that routine out the window and reaching for one that's been leaving me a whole lot more fulfilled throughout the day. Every day I've been waking up and heading right for the shower. I do my makeup, and get ready for the day- opposed to my normal tendency of waiting until Michael gets home to do something with myself. Then I make myself a cup of coffee and ENJOY it quietly while I update my progress on goals on my Coach.me app. After I'm finished I do some stretching, make myself a wholesome breakfast, and don't touch a single email until I've finished eating. It's been sooo glorious!

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This 'me-time' is EXACTLY what I've been needing and I think it's here to stay! Even just the subtle change of being dressed and put together makes the biggest difference in how I feel about my day, and how productive I am. And I don't even have to get super dressed up! Typically I'm just rocking a cute tee and some yoga pants!

I'm admittedly obsessed with cute tees and tanks that I can easily throw on, like this one from Zany Du Designs! I met the maker, Alexandra at a local arts event I was a part of and have since become hooked on her screen printed tees, which is why you'll probably recognize a few that Ry wears on her website.

(like this cutie:)

I love them so much that I've teamed up with 'Zany Du' to give all of my loyal readers a sweet deal!

Enter the promo code: ZDFAMILY to receive 20% off your purchase. She's got tees for the whole fam, which is equally amazing and dangerous! So head to her website or etsy page and drop a few in your cart!

As for me, I'm off to have some more me time in this super comfy 'Highway Vagabond' Zany Du tank. Cheers!

Top Five Podcasts for the Fempreneur

My guy said something to me last week that's left me feeling just so flattered. He told me that while listening to an advertisement for a company that offers monthly subscriptions to their large database of online classes, he thought of me. And he said he thought to himself, "Courtney is always trying to better herself." How sweet is that?! That one little comment has given me such a nice little confidence boost this past week. I never really though of myself in that way, but really, I guess he's right. I am always trying to be better. And I don't mean that in any kind of self-righteous way. I just mean, I want to grow. 

Whenenver I left my full-time job last year to pursue my new career, it's because I knew I was capable of more. I woke up everyday feeling so intellectually deprived. I wasn't being challenged enough and I knew I could serve myself better by delving into a field that would allow me to use myself in ways I didn't have the opportunity to before. But most importantly, I wanted to be my own boss. Because really, who can manage me better than myself?  Becoming accountable for myself in my new career has given me the chance to take the bull by the horns and be the entrepreneur I think deep down, I knew I always wanted to be. So far it's been a learning experience. To be an entrepreneur you have to have a passion. You have to have drive and some serious motivation. But most of all, you have to be humble enough to realize that you don't know everything, and be willing to learn what you don't know.

There are a million and one resources available to drive your passion, motivate, and teach you- but my favorite by far are podcasts. I'm going to get a lot of flak for this, because when I first started dating Michael I used to make fun of him for the amount on NPR he listened to. Now podcasts are my number one favorite tool to learn new information, get motivated, and get inspiration for my businesses. I've found my favorite business building and marketing podcasts come from women. Women who started from the ground up and now want to inspire other women. So today I'm sharing some of those podcasts with you in hopes that they can benefit your business the way they have mine!

 

The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher 

"The live-workshop style business podcast for creative girl bosses, so you can train from the experts how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals along the way. "

So I first got started listening to Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger Podcast by taking several of her online workshops and webinars. She's a photographer and educator, and I love the way she uses her podcasts to teach material but also connect with her listeners on a personal level. Her topics cover all things business and marketing, and she also talks about her personal life and real topics in womanhood.

The Marie Forleo Podcast

Marie Forleo is really witty and that's what I love about listening to this cast. Plus I just feel like if Oprah loves Marie, then we all probably should? Marie speaks about how to tackle new business strategies, ambitions, and the paths to success. And who's to question advice coming from a woman as successful as Marie Forleo?

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

I am such a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert and everything that she stands for. She's an incredible author and women's activist, and I love how insightful she is about how to reach inside yourself and take pride in your creative process. As a creator myself, I resonate so much with how she describes overcoming fear and just going for what ignites your soul. This is an incredible podcast for creative entrepreneurs who really need that swift kick in the bum to get going.

Dreams in Drive by Rana Campbell

Rana Campbell's Dreams in Drive is probably one of my favorite podcasts. There is so much concentrated knowledge in every episode, and it's probably the podcast I draw the most from. She covers everything from starting your business, to becoming a better you, and she digs deep into the stories of some truly incredible colored female entrepreneurs. Her ideas on productivity are some of my favorite and I really look forward to listening to each weekly episode.

Raise Your Hand, Say Yes. with Tiffany Han

Hilarious. Hilarious. Hilarious. Tiffany Han is so incredibly quirky and really just so engaging. Tiffany speaks with entrepreneurs and creative individuals all over and reflects on their stories, their success, and extracts some incredible advice. She's such an incredible speaker and interviewer, and these stories provide some incredible inspiration.

 

Whatever your profession or field of interest, these podcasts serve as such amazing tools to move past your fears in life and become the absolute best version of yourself. They certainly help me, and I hope they can do the same for you and your business.

Have some more favorites? I'm a podcast junkie and I'd truly love to get the chance to listen! Leave me a few in the comments section below! Until next time guys!

It’s become apparent to me that I have an attitude issue. I realized the severity of this problem yesterday during an intimate conversation between Michael and I. As we lie in bed after a truly unnecessary argument, we spoke about some of the current trials occurring in our lives right now. We have a lot going on. Between the stresses of work on both of our ends, finances and saving money, and uncertainty of the future, its safe to say I’m going a little crazy.

I told him just how overwhelmed I was feeling, and that I noticed it didn’t seem as if he was really too worried. He and I have two completely different personalities. He’s calm and collected. He handles all that life throws at him with a smile. A lot of times I feel like the whole world is coming down around me. I know the only reason I feel this way is because I feel this incessant need to hold everything together all of the time. I run rampant. When I told him how I was feeling he looked at me puzzled and told me, “Of course I’m affected. I’m really worried, but I have to keep a level head so I can be strong for you and for Riley. These things that you’re so worried about, aren’t things that we know the answers to right now. There’s going to be uncertainty. There’s no sense eating ourselves up over something we can’t control. In the end its all going to be okay. You just have to tell yourself that. It’s all going to be okay.” And just like that I understood I had a problem. He and I have the same things going on in our lives right now. We’re two people with the same problems, but opposite attitudes.

I have a bad attitude. I’ve allowed myself to cast a negative outlook about everything around me and its inevitably having a major effect on my life. I’ve been allowing myself to swim in an abundance of toxicity, that I myself created. I’ve developed a habit that hinders me from allowing myself to fully enjoy the many positives of my life. I’m a clinger. I’m a stage five negativity clinging Nancy. But I don’t want to be anymore. The negative energy I’m carrying around is only making my life more unpleasant. And because of this bad attitude, every problem that comes my way becomes a much bigger issue than it should. Negativity is consuming me.

So what do you do? What do you do when you know you need an attitude change but you don’t quite know what to do about it? Well I decided to give some positivity a try. If negativity is my issue, I assume the only way to rid myself of the issue is to combat it with positivity. Sometimes you can’t change all the curve balls that life throws at you, but what you can change is your attitude about them.

So I came up with a challenge. The Seven Day Attitude Adjustment Challenge. A week long positivity challenge. Seven days. That’s all it is. Seven days of being positive, appreciating more, and doing more for myself. Each day has an assigned task to better your outlook and mood. I’m really hoping it will be just the kick in the butt I need to change my outlook on things!  I’ll be beginning this challenge on July 31 and would love for you to follow along! Below you’ll find the infographic for the challenge if you’d like to join me. If you’d like to share your journey through the Attitude Adjustment Challenge feel free to use the hashtag #attitudeadjustmentchallenge on Instagram and as always feel free to follow me to keep up with all of the latest from @thefamilymaam

 

 

Good luck to all and I can’t wait to hear all about you your week goes! Feel free to leave your comments below to keep me in the loop about all that happens, and how your ‘tude changes!

25 Simple Ways to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Day

 

If there’s one thing I’ve come to learn about being a parent, it’s that it requires a lot of selflessness. That’s something I never really recognized until it directly effected me when I became such a strong figure in Riley’s life. Prior to that, my days revolved around me. I came and went as I pleased, and took care of only myself. My whole life was one big self-care session! The former me was selfish, and that’s okay. I needed to experience that time in my life, otherwise I don’t think I’d be successful at giving all that’s deserved to this little boy and his daddy.

This new role in my life gives me such an incredible appreciation for my own mother. She’s always done it all and done it well- even when she didn’t necessarily believe it. She’s the truest epitome of selflessness. I’m truly fortunate to have had such an incredible example set forth for me.

I think as women, most of us have a deep rooted desire to nurture. Mine was a little deeper down I think than most, but boy did it find me quickly! Now I find myself really striving to be the best partner and mother figure that I can be. But mamas, lets be real- it can be exhausting! And sometimes it’s easy to forget to fulfill our own individual needs that are just so incredibly essential for us to re-charge!

Self-care is a major component in keeping yourself happy and healthy. Women in particular are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major forms of depression than men. Which means we need to love ourselves a little more. That’s why it’s so important that we shift even the smallest bit of focus to ourselves each day, to provide us with the self-care we truly deserve. Incorporating even just a little self-care daily can allow you to respond better to stress, develop better resiliency, and can aid in decompressing- allowing you to avoid that ‘burnt out’ feeling.

Maybe it’s the change in the weather, the fact that I’m now working predominantly from home, or the sometimes redundant feeling of my daily tasks, but I myself have been feeling a little down, and a bit ‘burnt out’ lately. As someone who was diagnosed with depression nearly eight years ago, it’s extremely important for me to do what I can to keep my spirits up and avoid falling into an emotional slump. I’m reminding myself that just a little self-care goes a long way, and that it needs to be a priority for me not just when I’m feeling down, but every day.

So if you too are feeling your focus drift too far from yourself, I’ve compiled a list of 25 Simple Ways to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Day. They’re good for the body, mind, and soul. And they’re just enough to keep your mind at ease.

    1    Soak in a long hot bubble bath.

    2    Set aside some time to read your favorite novel.

    3    Unplug for an hour. Turn off the phone and computer.

    4    Do something you’ve been putting off for a while.

    5    Go for a walk. Take a route you don’t typically go.

    6    Meditate for ten minutes.

    7    Pay yourself a compliment.

    8    Write a journal entry or write creatively.

    9    Complete a random act of kindness.

    10    Get out in nature. Hike a trail or watch the waves on the beach.

    11    Listen to some of your favorite music.

    12    Make a list of things you’re thankful for.

    13    De-clutter one of your personal spaces.

    14    Enjoy a decadent dessert all to yourself.

    15    Sweat! Go for a run or have an intense workout session.

    16    Splurge on you. Get yourself a little something.

    17    Try a yoga class, or do a few calming poses at home.

    18    Vent to someone you care about.

    19    Try a new recipe.

    20    Make a list of short and long-term goals.

    21    Go for a drive.

    22    Take a nap.

    23    Enjoy a cup of coffee or herbal tea.

    24    Get creative! Paint, draw, or start a new DIY project!

    25    Sign up for a new class or activity.

 

Did you give them a go? Have more self-care ideas? I’d love to hear about your experiences and ideas in the comments below! Until then, you do you mama!

 

You Can Do It: How to Get Shit Done

You know exactly what I’m talking about. Your ‘to-do’ list is a mile and a half long, but you can’t even muster up the desire to get out of bed; much less put a dent in that list of yours. I’m nearly ashamed to say that this scenario is a genuine everyday occurrence for me. But I’m here to tell you there is hope! Though I can’t offer you a medically sound cure for your case of the lazies, I can offer you some pretty simple solutions to help get your butt in gear! Don’t fret my friend! You too can get shit done!

Get Your Priorities Straight. I think too often we are flooded with thoughts of the millions of things we have to do. It’s overwhelming. Have you ever seen that meme that says, “That moment you have so much to do, that you decide to take a nap instead?” It definitely rings true. If you can’t evaluate and establish what there is to do and what’s most important, all you’ll do is give yourself anxiety.

    •    Make a List. Write down every single thing you need to get done in the day. Now this might freak you out a bit if you start writing down menial things. So stick to the necessities. Stick to what’s important. Chances are you won’t forget to refill the toilet paper roll in the restroom if you’re already cleaning your bathroom. Don’t drown yourself with the worries of tiny tasks.

    •    Eliminate the Unnecessary. If you’re writing things down just for the sake of writing them, you’ll never get anything done. If it’s not necessary for you to do today, don’t do it.

    •    Give Each Task a Numerical Order. What’s most important? What task has the most pressing deadline? What have you just been putting off for too long? Think about what item trumps another, and give it a number.

Get Yo Mind Right. It’s all about the mindset. Is your glass half empty, or half full? What’s that quote? “She turned her ‘can’ts’ into ‘cans’ and her ‘to do’ list into plans…” or something like that. If you go into something with the thought that it’s going to be miserable, guess what? It’s going to be miserable. Instead of saying, “This shit sucks,” try saying, “this shit isn’t so bad.” See? I bet you feel better already!

Schedule it Out. If you go into things without a plan, you’re more likely to give up midway. Try coming up with a schedule of execution, and reward your hard work with small planned breaks. Hell, you can even Bribe Yourself. Promise yourself a treat if you complete a task within a certain amount of time. It will be like a fun little game! If you’re chubby like me, a chocolate bribe should do just fine! Plan to work in little blocks of time (for example; an hour on, fifteen minutes off. )

Distractions Be Gone. This one is the hardest. You can’t exactly get motivated to get out of bed and get moving if you’re stuck on Facebook, now can you? Turn it off. Swipe those distractions off the screen. Turn your phone off. Log out of your email. Turn the notifications off. When you eliminate the distractions, you can without a doubt complete tasks quicker and more efficiently.

Try Some Tunes. Personally, nothing gets me more motivated than blasting some good tunes (Fleetwood Mac and Heart are my personal favorites.) Tune out the world around you, and get to it.

These are just some things that help me get it together. Have more ideas or is there something else that really works for you? Drop a comment below! Until then, happy doing!

Four Ways to Beat Stress Before Stress Beats You

The universe is really pulling me lately. My arms are stretched wide and I’m suddenly being pulled in every direction. Honestly, I’m loving it, but I’m also kind of stressed out. But I guess really, who wouldn’t be?

Though I haven’t opened up much about it on the blog yet, I’m like REALLY busy.  On top of my writing and digital content responsibilities for work, I’m also managing a new brand, preparing for a huge site launch, getting product ready for a huge creative entrepreneur event I’m a part of, preparing materials for a large class I’m teaching at the same event, and providing photography services for various clients. And I’m doing all of this while still managing the typical household and parenting duties that granted, aren’t exactly required  of me- but I really enjoy. I’m freaking swamped.

I’ve truly and honestly always really loved being busy.  I’m always on the go- something I’m quite sure I’ve had handed down from my mom, and I can never take a chill pill. Like ever. The problem is often at times, I leave myself overwhelmed. And obviously I DON’T really love THAT. I wanted to share with you guys exactly how I bring myself back to center when it feel’s like my whole world is spinning 100mph.

Give Yourself a Break

If you’ve read my post 25 SIMPLE WAYS TO INCORPORATE SELF-CARE INTO YOUR DAY, you know I’m a big fan of self-care. Sometimes the best way to care for yourself is to take a break, slow down, and tune out the noise.  Shut down the computer. Turn off your cell. Hell, hide in your car on your lunch hour and watch some Netflix if you have to! Do what YOU need to do to get some relief.  A little bit of rest goes a long way!

Recognize

You? You’re a BADASS and you know it! Take a look in the mirror and give yourself some recognition. You know the one thing that will truly minimize the effects of stress?! The reality that even though life is stressful, YOU’RE KILLIN IT! Instead of focusing on how far behind you are, think about how much you’ve accomplished. And just give yourself some gratitude and a nice pat on the back! Sometimes it’s all you need to keep you far away from a funk.

Reward Yourself

Badasses deserve stuff. So if the funk is nearing, reward yourself! Nothing can help you from feeling too defeated quite like a relaxing massage, or a brand new pair of shoes. Rewarding yourself does more than just make you feel good. It makes all that hard work and busy schedule tackling seem truly worth it! You don’t have to completely splurge. Even the smallest something can scream, “I appreciate me!” Badasses know their worth!

Delegate

You know how many loads of laundry I’ve done in the past three weeks? None. That’s right. I haven’t done a single one.  But you know who has? My partner. And thank goodness for him, because he’s helping to make my life a hell of a lot more easy. Just because you’re too swamped to even think about tackling that hamper full of socks that’s needed mating  for a week now, doesn’t mean it can’t get done. A sink of dishes doesn’t have to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Life’s tasks don’t have to go undone. ASK FOR HELP. And don’t you dare feel bad about it.

Seriously though, I get it. You’re tired. I’m tired. We’re all tired. Life isn’t sunshine and daisies and there’s no need to pretend it is. We can however, shield ourselves a bit from the thick of it all and take the proper time and steps to keep our sanity in tact! You’re mind and body will thank you.