5 Ways to be Just a Little Less Busy This Week

If you’re new to my blog or even if you’ve been following for awhile now, you might be thinking that this not so busy life is just a pie-in-the-sky kind of idea that sounds good but really isn’t possible. I promise you, it is more than just a dreamy idea. There are choices, both big and small, you can make to pursue a life that’s just a little less busy. The full life without all the busy will take effort on your part, but it will be worth it. A step in the right direction can even begin today!

Today I am sharing 5 ways you can be just a little less busy this week!

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Take a walk.

Something happens when you (literally) walk away from your normal surroundings. You leave behind all those projects and tasks staring you in the face. You move away from a lot of the noise (both literal and figurative) and breathe in fresh air. Walking is a great way to clear your mind and think new thoughts. I try to walk or run each day for about 30 minutes. For me, this time consists of thinking, praying and listening to a few minutes of a podcast. I always return from my walk in a better frame of mind than when I headed out the door. Things that seemed urgent suddenly don’t seem that way anymore. Worries that weighed on my heart seem a little lighter. Take a walk this week, move away from the busy and return refreshed with a new perspective!

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Have a play date with a friend.

We schedule play dates for our children, but what about us? We need time with friends, too. It’s funny how we can get so caught up in being busy and running here, there, and everywhere that we truly don’t make time for people. Schedule time with a friend this week. Meet for coffee (or if you’re like me, then meet for tea). Take a walk together. Maybe even try out a new restaurant. Keep it simple, but just do it. We need each other more than we need to get one more task done. Making time for a friend will benefit you and them.

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Put down your phone.

Yes, the good old phone, sometimes it needs to be put down. Our phones are super helpful and fun for so many different reasons, but they are also a source of stress and busyness. I believe we have this fear of “missing out” if we aren’t checking our phone, but the truth is the exact opposite. Life is right in front of us, and we miss out on that life when we spend so much time staring at our phones. Leave the busyness of the online world this week, and enjoy the people and places surrounding you.

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Cross one thing off your to-do list or calendar.

Go ahead, cross something off. And not because you completed it. Cross it off because you want to make a little more breathing room in your week. Cross it off, and add space to your week. Sometimes we try to jam as much as we can into one day, one week. Our calendar gets overstuffed, and we arrive at the weekend exhausted and cranky. Give yourself permission to make this week a little less busy by crossing one thing off your list or calendar!

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Do something for someone else.

You might be thinking, “But doesn’t that just make me more busy?”. Yes…and no. You see, as much as we hate to admit it, much of our busyness focuses on ourselves and our families. That’s not all bad, but it’s not all good either. Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves and our own situations that we forget those around us. This week make some muffins for a neighbor. Send a note of encouragement to your friend. Bring a meal to the new family in town. You’ll notice that all of a sudden all of your pressing tasks won’t seem so pressing when the focus is outward instead of inward.

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Choose 1 (or all 5) of these this week, and see if you find a little more space in your life. Here’s to a week (and a life) that’s just a little less busy!!

What about you? Did anything on this list strike you today? What will you do to make this week a little less busy? I would love to hear your thoughts, so drop me a comment below!

Until next time,

Charissa

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Got 15 Minutes? Kitchen Drawer Organization

Today I am continuing a series I began back in March called Got 15 minutes?. In this new series, I choose a trouble spot or an undesirable task and tackle it for 15 minutes. It’s surprising what you can accomplish in 15 minutes when you pick a task and stick to it!

Today I am sharing what I accomplished when I took 15 minutes to organize one of my kitchen drawers.

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Before

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Before the 15 minutes the drawer was cluttered and disorganized, and I was ready to work on this neglected space. I set my timer for 15 minutes and attacked this small drawer.

What I Accomplished in 15 Minutes

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  1. Emptied out the drawer
  2. Vacuumed inside the drawer
  3. Sorted through items that I removed
  4. Returned what I wanted back to the drawer
  5. Tossed out any broken items
  6. Set aside a few other (no longer need/want) items for donation

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After

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These aren’t earth-shattering results, but they do make me happy. A little less clutter and a little more organization is a good thing, and it was accomplished in 15 short minutes!

What about you? What area in your home could use your attention for 15 minutes? Share with me below!

Until next time,
Charissa

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5 Books I Plan on Reading in the Next Several Months

I love to read. Recently I noticed that the numbers of books I am reading each month is decreasing as I work on growing my blog. I am ok with that because sometimes you have to let things go, but I am also still committed to making reading a part of my life.

Today I am sharing the 5 books I plan on reading in the next several months.

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(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

1. Queen Lucia & Miss Mapp: The Mapp & Lucia Novels by E.F Benson

I always appreciate a recommendation from Jennifer L. Scott who blogs at The Daily Connoisseur. Her last recommendation, Amy Snow, ended up being on my Top 4 Reads of 2016 list. I have found myself leaning towards nonfiction over the last several years, so I always appreciate a good fiction recommendation.

2. A Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

Tsh Oxenreider from the Art of Simple recommended and reviewed this book on her podcast a few weeks ago. I was intrigued by the concept of the book and by Tsh’s support of it. I’m also drawn to books that are a type of “experiment” or challenge. This book fits into that category as does my next choice.

3. What Falls From the Sky by Esther Emery

This “experiment” type book was another recommendation from Tsh Oxenreider. I listened to one of Tsh’s podcast episodes where she interviewed Esther Emery. Esther chose to take a year off the internet, and then wrote this book sharing her experience and lessons learned. The podcast got me very excited to read the book!

4. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Does anyone else love reading children’s chapter books? This children’s book has been recommended time and time again. Now it has been made into a movie that is coming to theaters in November of this year. I need to get reading! I think this will be a great one to read along with my older children, too.

5. The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines

I am a big fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines and their show, Fixer Upper, so I was super excited when I heard they had written a book. I am looking forward to reading their backstory and learning more about this creative, hardworking couple. I’m actually hoping to listen to this story because Chip and Joanna narrate it which would make for an even more personal storytelling experience.

I’m looking forward to enjoying these 5 titles (a nice mix of genres and topics) in the next several months!

What about you? What books are on your “to read” list? I would love to hear what you plan on reading, so please leave me a comment below!

Until next time,
Charissa

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A Red, White & Blue Celebration for Less

If you have followed my blog for even a short amount of time then you are aware that I am a big Dollar Tree fan. The Dollar Tree is definitely my go-to-spot for birthday party supplies. If you are planning any sort of party or event it really is a great money-saving option. With Memorial Day and 4th of July right around the corner, the Dollar Tree’s patriotic party supplies are a great choice for your own red, white and blue celebration!

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**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**

Here are some of the patriotic party supplies you can find at your local Dollar Tree:

Decorations

You can quickly and affordably decorate any space with wall decorations, table centerpieces, banners, balloons, pinwheels, decorative bows, LED lights, and so much more. It only takes a few items at a great price to bring some festive red, white and blue to your party space.

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Paper Goods

You can find any and all paper goods needed to serve up tasty treats for your guests. You can mix up the red, white and blue or choose from various patterned prints. At the Dollar Tree you can find: napkins, cups, plates, bowls, silver ware and more. You can’t beat $1 when it comes to getting your red, white and blue party goods.

Accessories

How fun to be able to wear patriotic flip flops as you host your party! You can even pass out a few wearable goodies to your party guests including: sunglasses, bandanas, leis, headbands, hats and more.

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If you can’t find what you are looking for in your local store, check online!! You can even choose to have the items shipped free to your store.

Throwing a party or hosting a get-together can be done easily without too much hassle or money. All it takes is a quick trip to the Dollar Tree, and you’ll be on your way to hosting your red, white and blue celebration!

What about you? What party supplies do you like to get from the Dollar Tree? I would love to hear from you, so leave me a comment below.

Until next time,
Charissa

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My Photo of the Week

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you are in?”

~Unknown

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Each Friday I do our weekly grocery shopping trip which makes for a long shopping trip. Each week I take my four year old which makes for a really long shopping trip.

You know what? I am learning to let go of the need to race and rush through these weekly trips. I don’t want to spend my time in the store worrying about how long the trip is taking. I don’t want to ignore my child and blow through the aisles.

I have found our Friday shopping trips to be a great time of being together. My daughter helps me find items and places them in the cart.  Sometimes she pushes the cart. She sings songs. She makes other shoppers smile. We chat a lot and make our way through the store having a fun time doing a mundane task.

These are the simple, ordinary moments I hope she (and I) remember for years to come.

What about you? How are you keeping yourself from racing through the moments of life? I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below!

For more Photo of the Week posts click here.

Until next time,

Charissa

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5 Items You Should Bring on Your Next Hotel Stay

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Last weekend I was able to get away for 2 nights with some of my longtime friends. It was such a gift to be able to have this time away, and it provided much needed relaxation, refreshment, and rest.

We stayed at a great hotel and appreciated our simple, clean accommodations. After the weekend I was thinking about that particular hotel stay and hotel stays, in general. I pack (and sometimes over-pack) thinking I know just what I need. Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I realize I forgot something that would have been very helpful. Packing can sometimes be a bit of a guessing game, but I think there are some “should bring” items that might be a little unexpected.

Today I am sharing the 5 items you should bring on your next hotel stay.

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(This post contains affiliate links, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through the links.)

Hand soap

Most hotels supply a few toiletries including soap, but it is always bar soap. Washing my hands with bar soap is really not my favorite, and every time I stay at a hotel I think about my hand soap back home. So, the next time you head to a hotel, run into the Dollar Tree first, and buy yourself some inexpensive hand soap.

Flip flops

There was a pool at our hotel, and flip flops really are the best shoe for time at the pool. Flip flops are also great for sliding on when walking to the vending machine or making a quick trip down to the front desk. Flip flops are easy to toss in your bag and come in handy when you need to throw something on your feet.

Steamer

Yes, most hotels have irons and ironing boards, but I find that whole process somewhat tedious. I am not a fan of ironing when I am at home, and I don’t enjoy doing it while I am away. A steamer is a much easier way to rid your clothing of all those crazy wrinkles that occur when your items are stuffed in your suitcase or bag. There are plenty of mini-steamers that can easily be packed with all your other belongings.

Laundry bag

By the end of your trip (whether 2 nights or 1 week) you will have a small (or large) pile of dirty clothes. I have a hard time shoving my dirty clothes into my bag with all the unused, clean clothes. A laundry bag is a simple solution. If you don’t want to purchase one, you can always just choose the frugal option, and grab a garbage bag from home. I also find that coming home with a laundry bag of dirty clothes makes unpacking much easier. Just throw the bag of clothes right into the washing machine, and put everything else away.

Cash for tips

I have worked at a B & B every summer since I was in high school, and I know housekeepers work hard to clean your room and give you your needed supplies. A tip is a great way to thank them for their service. It doesn’t have to be much, but it is always appreciated. You might also need tip money for room service or maybe just cash for the vending machine.

Those are my 5 “should haves” for your (or my) next hotel stay! They are simple items but very helpful in making for an even nicer get-away!

What about you? What items do you think are necessities when staying at a hotel? I would love to hear your ideas, so drop me a comment!

Until next time,
Charissa

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