When You Feel Like You Are Losing Your Mind

Hey everybody!  Fall is in full swing – and several started-but-unfinished posts have been languishing in my draft folder for weeks.  I hit a wall – with life in general, really – and have been in sheer survival mode.  Many days (and nights) I have been convinced that I am losing my mind!

I started a 2nd part time job and it is more physically demanding and less mentally demanding than my other part-time job.  Hours were a bit long in the beginning, but they have eased up and I am settling in.  Just in time for the Holidays.  (I am part-time bookkeeper for a non-profit agency and also now a cashier at a local drugstore).  Getting my schedule together has been a challenge – let alone finishing posts and making more printables.

So the blog went to the back burner while my mind spun ideas about posts to write during Fall.  

And I know that I am NOT the only one who *hated* all of the robocalls and commercials for voting.  SO glad that is over.  Now maybe we can figure out how to work together like Americans.

THEN Daylight Savings came.

Whoever decided that the Time Change was necessary (and yes, I know all about it) and we should continue to adhere to it despite the shift to industrialization in our country did not have mothers in mind.  Or working women.  In their late 40s.  With kids who stress over minor changes…

We are STILL adjusting to the darkness.  My kids are begging to go to bed at 6:30.  But then getting up at 5:00 a.m.!!!   It is NOT good!!!  All 3 are having sensory reactions to the changing season – more significantly than in previous years – and sometimes, we have all been in bed by 8 pm just so everybody could HANDLE things.

I am thankful that I can pray to a God who hears and sees.

For real.  I pray quietly, I pray out loud, and I pray by journaling.  If I did not have prayer, I would not survive this crazy time. 

I have said more than once – I feel like I can’t handle my life right now.  Lots of juggling balls, tracking schedules, dealing with finances.  It has been crazy messy more often than not.

I am also thankful for essential oils.

More often than not, I can be found diffusing or applying essential oils while mumbling out a prayer at the same time.  I have been using “stress” and “sleep” oils more often than not of late.  The stress makes it hard for me to sleep through the night and not sleeping makes the stress harder to roll with.  I am taking the vitamins and drinking the water and trying to find at least ONE thing to be thankful for every day, but sometimes the waves feel stronger and I lose my breath.

I am writing all this in the spirit of encouragement really.  When you feel like you’re losing your mind, I can highly recommend 2 strategies :

  • PRAYER
  • ESSENTIAL OILS

Yes there are other things like counseling, journaling, mindfulness, checkups, naps, etc., that can be beneficial. 

But these two things have made all the difference between FEELING like I’m losing my mind and actually LOSING my mind!

I want to share some essential oil recipes soon along with some favorite Fall treat recipes!  That’s what I have brewing in my blogging pot, and am praying I can get them out here for you to enjoy!!!

If Teacups Could Talk

I have a small – but treasured – collection of books that are related to the taking of Tea. Every once in awhile, I like to pull them out, reread them, review the beautiful pictures and dream of afternoons spent enjoying tea.  Especially as the crisp of Fall weather starts to settle in.

I don’t even remember when I purchased my copy of If Teacups Could Talk, by Emilie Barnes. It is my favorite Tea-related book, and one I turn to often for inspiration.

It is so beautifully illustrated and includes some lovely recipes, but the thing I love the most about this book is how the author shares her love & passion for tea and tea parties. It isn’t just about drinking tea – but about using tea time as a means to building relationships.

It doesn’t REALLY matter if the liquid involved is Tea – it could be coffee, water, pop, etc.  It doesn’t really matter if you choose to have tea alone, with your children, or with friends.  The idea is to make taking tea a refreshing experience for the body and soul.

So whether you have an antique teapot with matching teacups and saucers handed down through generations of your family, or you have mismatched mugs collected over the years – consider inviting someone special to have some Tea Time with you.

And if you are looking for some inspiration, I recommend this book and others by Emilie Barnes. I have several of her books and reading them is like the practice of deep breathing for the soul!

I have included my affiliate links for Amazon.  If you click the link and decide to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission – but it won’t cost you anything extra!

Eat at Home Tonight {Product Review}

 Eat at Home Tonight might just be the ticket to making meal planning & prep easier!  This cookbook contains 101 “Simple Busy-Family Recipes…” which is what appealed to me the most!  The very first recipe section of the cookbook is titled “I Only Have 15 Minutes Tonight”!  It is my favorite chapter and one I turn to every time I am looking for cooking inspiration.

Frankly, I have lost my cooking mojo.  I don’t want to cook very often – IF at all these days.  It has been discouraging for me and frustrating for my family.  I have no excuse like previous summers (when we did NOT have air-conditioning) and I find myself dragging my feet to think about meal planning, let alone prepping for meals.

I hoped that reading through this cookbook would give me the inspiration to try something new.  Honestly, every time I open this little book, I flip through the cookbook looking at the gorgeous pictures and find myself turning to the same pages for recipes to try.  It is beautifully done, definitely geared towards busy families and includes recipes that are both simple and appealing.

Simple recipes like:

  • White Garlic Chicken Flatbread
  • Memphis-Style BBQ Chicken Tacos with Coleslaw
  • Tacos al Pastor
  • Skillet Swiss Frittata with Spinach & Tomatoes, and 
  • Mexican Meat Loaf

I made the Skillet Swiss Frittata with Spinach & Tomatoes (eggs from our backyard chickens and fresh tomatoes from my in-law’s) and my husband RAVED about it!  Sometimes it’s hard to keep eggs on the dinner menu, but this recipe would satisfy just about everyone on my family!!!

One of the most interesting sections (which I have yet to dig into making) is the chapter “I Want to Cook For Tonight and Tomorrow” which includes recipes to cook the main dish for one night, with a recipe for leftovers the following night!  I am drawn to “Garlicky Pulled Pork” which can be used for “Pulled Pork Cuban Sliders” followed by “I’ll do it Tamale”!  Looks and sounds SO delicious!  I haven’t done this yet, but when I can get boneless pork roast on sale, I am making it!

To top this off – for those of you who might be VERY organized – there is a “I Want to Cook for the Whole Week Tonight” section which includes 2 weeks worth of 6-in-1 Menu Plans with shopping lists!  (Maybe when I get my mojo back, I’ll dare attempt this!)  Basically, this cookbook gives me NO excuse not to cook a delicious meal for my family at home.  Blessing or curse???

Eat at Home Tonight retails for $22.00 but right now on Amazon, it is on sale for $14.58 (as of the time of writing this post)!  

I was given a copy of the newly-released cookbook, Eat at Home Tonight, by Tiffany King in exchange for my honest review.  I received an advanced reader copy, which includes b&w pictures – which always makes a cookbook more useful in my opinion.  FYI – The published edition contains full-color pics.  I am using my Amazon affiliate links throughout this post.  If you should purchase this cookbook via these links, I earn a small commission for the referral – but it doesn’t cost you anything extra at all!!!

Dress Well at Any Size

I have been a “big girl” for a few decades and finding nice clothes that are flattering, comfortable, and that don’t “age” me is a primary challenge.  Whether I want to stay casual at home, look appropriate for work, or dress up for dates with my hubby – I want to dress well at any size!

I hate shopping for these reasons.  Fortunately, I have been blessed with several hand-me-downs or pass-along clothes from people who love me and have not had to shop too often.  I find that shopping for clothes can be uncomfortable, disappointing and very frustrating.  And I get hot & sweaty.  (anybody else?)  It’s not worth my time to try on 5 things and not have any fit well or flatter me.

Enter Chicwe

I am a BIG fan of online shopping – have been for many years.  It is both convenient and time-saving, but when it comes to clothes, it can be risky.  NOT trying on clothes can be almost as bad as trying on those 5 things that don’t work, right?  What looks good on the screen can be completely different at home – in color, in fit, in so many ways.

At Chicwe, ( www.Chicwe.com) you will find a wide variety of sophisticated plus styles (Size 14+) –  tops, bottoms, jackets – as well as dresses and accessories.  I am always looking for more tops that are both classy and fun – I don’t mind wearing bright colors – and really like the selection I found.  This is a site I have bookmarked for future shopping!

I got a top that is colorful, comfortable and flattering. I wore it to work and really loved the way it fit and felt throughout the day.  It is made of a soft knit material, with a chiffony-hem of bright blue!  I love wearing blues and the colors in this top are just gorgeous!  What do you think???

Right out of the package

Even though it was a SCORCHING 93 degrees yesterday (where did Fall go!?!) I was very comfortable in this top and glad I had it to wear.  I happen to own some bright blue cropped pants that I matched to it and was perfect for work!

Right now, I am able to offer my readers a 20% discount at Chicwe!  Just use code MOMMIESCOFFEE3 for your 20% discount!

Just click this link to visit Chicwe online (don’t forget the discount code: MOMMIESCOFFEE3) and check out their great tops and dresses (or pants or scarves!) – so many are on sale and at a great value!  After wearing this top yesterday, I know I will be shopping at Chicwe again!  It’s nice to find a store that offers plus size clothes that are affordable and stylish!

Disclaimer:  Check out theChicwe site and click the link above to take advantage of your 20% discount! I have an affiliate relationship with Dealspotr and received this top (value $34) in exchange for this review and I am being compensated for writing this post.  You should know that I am sharing my honest opinion and would never recommend something that I wouldn’t use myself or wouldn’t want a friend to use! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at mommiescoffee at gmail dot com.

Summer is Just Peachy

Okay, who turned the heat up, y’all?

(I have to tell you my kids get onto me when I say “y’all”.  We live in Ohio and their brother lives in Louisiana where “y’all” is pretty normal.  They get all up in arms when I use it and want me to justify why I do…)

Our few glorious spring days – the kind where you can wear a sweater in the morning and shed it for the afternoon – have disappeared into the murky morning-fog of humidity and rising heat.  I mean when it is 93 degrees in May.  In Ohio.   It is JUST wrong, y’all.

But thankfully, despite an emergency furnace failure in November which required replacement, our air-conditioning now works.  HALLELUJAH, y’all!

We have lived for 4 years without A/C – except for the window unit in our master bedroom – and this summer, we are so entirely grateful for air conditioning in main portions of the house.

I can NOT handle the heat.  I will own up to it.  I feel like a raging lunatic when I get too hot.  If i can muster the energy to move, that is.  I get hot & sweaty when it’s 80, so 93 the other day was not friendly.

I’m like one of those cartoon characters that melt and slide off the chair when it’s hot outside.

So, I have been enjoying the cold air now blowing from our vents and am SO thankful.

Oh, and it helps to have some sweet Peach tea that my Mama sent me.  It is pre-sweetened with stevia, is caffeine free and is for cold brewing so it’s really easy to make a pitcher!

So if you wanna know where the “y’all” came from – I’m gonna blame it on the Southern Breeze Peach tea!

Are you a fan of Peach tea?

You can find this Southern Breeze Peach Tea on Amazon.com – although I can’t remember where my mom got hers, I know I have seen it on ebay, too.  I can only find it online in multiple packs, so when you see the price, look at how many boxes you get for the price.

I brew mine using half sweet peach cold brew bags and half black tea for iced tea bags cuz I like a little bit of caffeine of course. (I am using my amazon.com link which means I can earn commission if you decide to stock up – but that doesn’t cost you anything more than the price of tea on Amazon.com…)

This brand also has a cold brew sweetened black tea, so I may just have to try that, too.  My daughter, Claira, has been brewing a quick cup of iced peach tea after getting off the bus for the past couple of weeks, so I will probably have to order more to get us through the summer!

Tomorrow is the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for my kiddos, so the A/C and sweet tea are gonna come in handy this summer!

Blackberries, Baby!

We have lived in our house now for 3 1/2 years.  One of the great things we heard from neighbors when we moved in is that the blackberry bush in our back yard would produce the biggest, juiciest blackberries.  I was SO excited!

But we have not been able to take advantage of a blackberry harvest yet.  They had overgrown and needed some tending.  Two years ago, I cut them way back and thought if they didn’t grow we could buy more to plant.

Last year, they grew, but there were only a few berries – and most of them got eaten by birds before we could get to them.

This year.  THIS YEAR I hope to see a change in that!

 

I don’t remember seeing so many blossoms in previous years. Whether it was due to needing some pruning or weird weather cycles, I don’t know – but I can’t believe how many blossoms our blackberries have this year already!

And there are SO MANY BLACKBERRIES already growing! I am really excited and HOPE that we can take advantage of these berries this year!

I have HUGE sweet memories of picking blackberries with family friends who lived in Oregon while I was still in high school.  I can still taste the warm blackberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream, after spending some time picking some of the biggest, sweetest blackberries I’d ever seen.  The blackberries in our yard – the few I have been able to enjoy – have been very big, but not as sweet as the ones I remember.  (I do think the flavor memory is definitely enhanced by the company and sweet friendship we shared!)

I have to say, while I am interested in the medicinal properties of blackberries, this year, I am hoping to really reap the benefits of just eating the fruit in a few different ways!!!

As you can see there are blossoms that have yet to bloom, blossoms in mid-bloom and rapidly growing berries. I don’t know the variety of berry, but I do know they produce 2 crops (and can you believe we’ve never really been able to harvest them?) per summer.

My hope is to make a blackberry cobbler for my family to enjoy and maybe WE can make sweet memories together, too!

Do any of you have any berries growing in your area?  Do you like to pick them?  What’s your favorite way to eat your berry harvest?

Essential Oil Profiles and Two Herbal Ecourses

Because I am an affiliate for the Ultimate Bundles geniuses, I was able to purchase my Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle early.  And I have been playing with it for almost a month.  I have been in HEAVEN!  I have breezed through a couple of the ebooks and will be rounding back around to them over the summer.  This bundle just has so many valuable resources, but I wanted to highlight three specific products.  Maybe you just want to find a couple of home remedies to deal with simple issues that you or your family are concerned with, and you just need some help getting started.

The first product I want to highlight is the Top 60 Essential Oil Profiles by Lea Harris.  This is an app of sorts that is built into Evernote.  (Which by the way – if you don’t have Evernote – you should use it for storing valuable documents, files, and more.  More on that later…)  Lea – my go to safety guru for essential oils – has provided a digital notebook of her Top 60 Essential Oil profiles.  This provides specific information on specific oils – and how to use them safely.

Wait?  You have a phone app that does this for you already?  I have not found ANY phone app that gives me the information these profiles give me.  They are not brand specific, they include dilution rates, and provide safety information for pregnant or nursing women, infants, and pets.  She has done the hard work of studying essential oils and provides information about the characteristics of each oil and suggestions for use.

This product alone retails for $24.98, just $5 less than the purchase price of the Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle.  If there is ANY other product in this bundle that interests you, then this bundle will likely save you some money!!!

I also enrolled in the DIY Herbal Apothecary Ecourse almost immediately upon downloading my bundle.  It is included in the family section of this bundle.  It retails for $197 – so if this product alone is enough for you, purchasing the bundle will save you big bucks!  This course allows you to study 25+ herbs in depth and learn how you can use them to help in your home and family.  As much as I love essential oils, I understand that they are only one product derived from herbs – and I am very interested in how herbs in general can be used at home.

This course is BEAUTIFULLY done.  I cannot say how much I enjoy seeing the quality of photos included.  The directions are provided in a simple manner, providing the opportunity to create something that can contains multiple benefits to my health and that of my family’s.  And then there are the recipes.  Oh my goodness! Salves, lotions, vinegars, candies, tinctures, decoctions (think “tea”) and more.  Using herbs you can find in your back yard, or garden pot, or purchase online.

The 3rd product I will highlight is the Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Ecourse (valued at $79).  While similar to the DIY Herbal Apothecary Ecourse, this course focuses more on profiling a single herb in detail.  It teaches you how to research and herb in greater detail and how to build a reference book for yourself.  The printable PDF files provided in this course (which help explain “constituents” and “actions” in easy to understand terms) are a cinch to use and beautifully done.

If you have ANY desire to learn how to use herbs for your health at home, this bundle is an amazing collection of tools and resources to help!  If you are tired of buying OTC meds that don’t always work or cause some not-so-great side effects and you want to rely on more naturally-derived products – whose ingredients you know down to the last ounce – you cannot pass up on the Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle.  This sale ends on MONDAY!  Don’t let it pass you by – You can purchase your bundle by clicking below:

I Am Not A Sales Person

I don’t push products for people to buy just because it makes me money.  Even though I am an affiliate for several products, I am not going to recommend anything that I don’t like or doesn’t save me time or money.  In fact, I’m just one of those people who gets excited about good deals and good products and I can’t help but share my enthusiasm when I find it.

I am fun at home sale parties.  But I hate selling.  I love to share great products at incredible savings – but I am NOT going to hard sell anybody successfully.  I know what it’s like to live on a budget and to know that $30 can be a major expense sometimes.  I don’t want someone else to go into debt because I recommended something to them that they really couldn’t afford or won’t use.  That makes me nauseous.  If someone says “No,” I tend to just walk away instead of using more sales tactics.

I can admit that on many days, I feel overwhelmed or unmotivated or frustrated with my management skills at home. The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a great resource I have always found to be useful and helpful to me in the past.   I have found printables that I can use for my schedules, routines, and my homemaking binders.  I have found encouragement from e-books on the heavy days of motherhood when I feel like I haven’t done anything right.  I have also found quick & easy recipes that make dinnertime less stressful. SCORE!

That’s what I love most about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  I can download all my resources – save them on a flash drive or load them to my Kindle – and use them when I am ready and able.  I know there are items that I will probably never use, but there are so many that I go back to again and again!

If you don’t have any problems managing your home and family – this bundle isn’t for you.  If you don’t have $30 to spend, then DON’T buy it (please!)  If you don’t like to use printables or PDFs – then this will be a waste of your time and money.

Click the link below to learn more about the Bonus Offers that come with your purchase of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.   (Sale ends at 11:59 pm on Monday, May 1)

It’s All in the Details – The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

So this post is going to be short & sweet.  The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is on sale TODAY.  Keep reading below to see some of my favorite categories – and exactly what is included in this bundle and click any of the graphics to visit the site and order your bundle.  Earlybird e-reader package expires at 11:59 pm tomorrow night!

This creativity bundle just makes my heart go pitter-patter.  The beautifully done printable journals, coloring books, and photography advice are the kinds of things that help me unwind and relax.  I can print off the coloring pages for myself and my girls – who love to use my glitter gel pens and markers along with me – and the Bible verse/Bible journaling books in this category are AWESOME!!!

This FAITH category includes some great little e-books to read for encouragement, a study of Proverbs for kids, another book on the topic of Bible journaling, and includes a couple of e-courses that you can take at your own pace!

The Motherhood category alone is worth far more than the purchase price of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!  It includes 2 webinars and the Mom Conference complete package, as well as parenting workbooks and e-books to read when on the days when you wonder if you’re even a good mom.  (Oh, am I the only one who wonders???)

I love my printables!  I find so much sanity in using them in a variety of ways around my home and for my own mental stability.  This category also includes an ebook about creating a paperless home using Evernote (eek!), an ebook for building a homemaking binder, and another ebook about Bullet Journaling!  Good stuff here!

Now, these are just MY favorite categories.  There are so many other resources in this package – and don’t forget the bonuses that are available with your purchase of the bundle!  click the button below to learn more!

 

If You Are Overwhelmed with Home and Family – The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Can Help!

It’s not like you expected homemaking to be a piece of cake.  Did you have any idea you might get so tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed?  I have been surprised through the years by some of the unexpected challenges that have come with home management, marriage & family, managing finances – heck, just even getting my dishes done!  When I became a wife and mom several years ago, I needed help to find my way around managing my home. Oh, and developing systems to efficiently handle laundry and cleaning?  Or managing routines & schedules and meal planning?  Um… yeah.  I’m not going to discuss that.

Frankly – homemaking is filled with repetitive tasks that never seem to end, and whether you work outside the home or not, you & I can probably agree that we don’t  want to spend more time overwhelmed by things we don’t enjoy.

So what if you could find resources to help you become better at homemaking (and maybe even learn to love it)?  Or at least master some of those areas you struggle with!

Well, I found something that might be just what you need: The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  For six days only, everything you need (and then some) is in one fabulous package, for the most affordable price ever. (Seriously, just wait until I tell you the price.)

This year’s edition of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle includes 50 ebooks, 21 eCourses, 14 printables, 2 videos, 2 audios, 2 summits, and 1 membership site.

These top-quality resources cover everything you need to make homemaking and mothering feel less stressful… quick & healthy recipes, homemaking printables, cleaning tips, sizzling date night ideas, parenting helps, and so much more.

For less than the cost of a family meal out, you’ll get a complete library to help you:

  • Cook up easy, nutritious recipes for your family
  • Build stronger relationships with your kids (even your tweens & teens)
  • Discover speedy cleaning routines for the toughest messes
  • Rekindle or strengthen the romance in your marriage
  • Find ways to express your creativity and relieve stress
  • and finally enjoy homemaking…

Plus, it comes with over $290 worth of bonus offers from companies you’ll love (this is one of my favorite parts every time this bundle comes around!).

This year’s bundle includes 106 digital products and it’s worth over $1980!  You will save 97% off retail prices!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this package, then click the “Get my copy now!” button to go through their simple and secure 3-step checkout process.
  2. You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, and redeeming your free bonus offers.
  3. Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the topic you want to tackle first and start your stress-less homemaking journey!  (This guide is really helpful!)

The most important detail, though, is that this bundle is available for just six days! After Monday night, May 1st, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click HERE to learn more or buy the bundle.  (It’s even backed by a 100% happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.)

(Psst… the bundle goes away at 11:59pm Eastern on Monday, May 1st, so don’t wait!)  Sale starts

P.S. – If you are afraid that you are going to spend the money to purchase the bundle and NOT get your money’s worth, let me just share my personal experience with you.  I already grabbed my bundle and calculated what I would have spent had I purchased just a few of my choice items individually.  Just so you know, my total outside of the bundle would have been almost $150!!!  Instead, I got my favorite things and so much more, for a fraction of the cost.  I don’t recommend you purchase this bundle if you don’t have the money or if you don’t need any help with your home management or family life.  But I will absolutely recommend you click the links to see how this investment can help you live your life “more better” as my kids would say.  (Sorry, there are no grammar resources in this bundle…)