On Balance, Blogging, and Turning Two

February 15, 2011

me and boy

Today is just an ordinary Tuesday for most of you, but for me it marks the two year anniversary of my blog!  Yay!

What a year! I never imagined so many opportunities would come my way and I am so grateful to all of you who visit now and then, thank you SO much!

I’m one of those many multitasking moms, but lucky enough to be able to work from home, blessed with good health, great kids, a supportive husband, and a plethora of power tools.  Life is pretty good, and I’m thankful everyday. 

I often get these questions: How do you balance it all and get so much done? How do you manage your time?  How Do You Do It All?

My friends, let’s face the truth.  No one can ever “do it all”.  Not unless you’re Martha Omnimedia with unlimited resources and highly paid staff to cater to your every whim.  Then yes you probably can do it all, I suppose. 

There are plenty of things I don’t do, and for me, that’s the key to the ‘balance’ question.  I’ve decided what I can accomplish in any given day or week, what I have to sacrifice to get it done, and the power of saying ‘No’ to the things that won’t work for me and my family. 

Life (and blogging) is an ongoing treadmill, and Year Two taught me a few things.  But like a runner who’s been running for awhile, most importantly it taught me to find my stride.  The last two months have been extremely challenging.  I flew to the east coast three times in six weeks, all the while doing all the other things I ordinarily do.  I can’t believe I haven’t fallen down or gotten sick, which is nearly impossible when you’re on so many airplanes and picking up all those germs on every hotel doorknob and elevator button. 

I absolutely could not have stayed afloat this past year without my eternally patient husband, daily devotions, the support of some ‘got your back’ moms in my community watching over my munchkins, and Dori’s ‘just keep swimming’ attitude!  

 

I’m pretty disciplined with my time, but I’ve also learned to be forgiving of myself.  My house is never perfectly straightened, dust free, and it is rarely ready for company.  So what?  Perfection is not my goal, contentment is my goal.  Dishes and laundry and kid toys pile up, clutter creeps in, and to tackle it all I just keep swimming. 

.

Here are a few of the rules I’ve made for myself to successfully manage my time.

Budget Office Hours.  I’m rather disciplined and I recognize I’m most productive between 9 and 2 p.m.  9  to 11 a.m.  I make the rounds, email, comments, favorite blogs, and a little time on Facebook and Twitter.  From 11 to 2 p.m., I run errands, keep appointments, gather supplies, start new projects, then at 2:30 I pick up my kids and take an afternoon break to do homework and clean up around the house.  That afternoon break to focus on family is extremely important to me.  I budget a few hours after bedtime to write, and I spend most weekends working on new projects. 

Avoid time hogs.  There is so much on the internet, and on television I could be online or in front of the tube all stinkin’ day.  If that was the case, nothing would get done.  I love social media, but for now I stick to only Facebook and Twitter and have a ‘login, logout’ philosophy.   Just a few minutes here and there over the course of the day.  My television is never on during the day, unless I have two sick kids at home like yesterday, then I make an exception.  I record every show I like, then I catch up every few days after the kids’ bedtime or on the weekend when I have time. 

Try to Prepare Posts in Advance.   Long ago, I used to scramble to finish a project and photograph it ‘today before daylight ends’ to post ‘tomorrow’.  Ack, that’s just too stressful!  Sometimes this still happens to me, but for the most part I try to stay a few days ahead, and write down a schedule of posts for the upcoming week.  I find that if I start early on a project and pace myself, allowing time to finish or deal with an ‘oops’, then I stress a lot less. 

Kid Swap.  My kids are at an age where they are all about the play date.  Great!  I have a fab community of moms and we often kid swap for two reasons:  clean laundry room1) kids love playing at their friend’s houses for a few hours and 2) it’s a heck of a lot easier to run errands alone.   A trip to the grocery store alone is that priceless opportunity to read labels and plan menus without distraction.  The art of the kid swap is a major time saver for me. 

Finish Cleaning Late in the Day.  One thing that helps me a lot is saving the home chores for when I’m home with the kids in the afternoon.  Yes, I actually leave my morning dishes in the sink if it’s during ‘Office Hours’ !  I finish them in the afternoon when the kids are doing homework at the kitchen island, that way I can help with homework and clean at the same time.  I fold laundry upstairs in the evenings when they’re also upstairs in the bath.  Etc.

Dedicate Time for Family.   All blog and no play makes me a cranky Mom.  The choice to work from home to be closer to my family has to actually mean something.  When I hear those words, “Momma, are you done with your computer?  Will you play with me?”  I heed them.  To me, no amount of pageviews is worth that chance to play, even if it’s to reenact for the hundredth time that first scene in my boy’s favorite movie. 

star wars battle

They’re only little once, I’m not going to miss it. 

Let Go.  I’ve learned to resist the pressure to post every day, as much as I’d like to, if my home life gets too busy, I can’t do it.  I don’t think anyone should ever feel the pressure to post just to post because they haven’t posted in awhile.  I’ve found a good pace that works for me, 3 to 4 posts a week, but if I ever need to take a step back, I certainly will.  

Take Care of Yourself.  Rest is best!  It bears repeating how important it is to make time for exercise, for play, and for eating well.  And when life falls completely out of balance which it often does, take a day or two to rejuvenate with some junk TV and ice cream or whatever it is that makes you feel better.  Then pick yourself up and go for it again.  Just keep swimming.

Thanks again to those of you who stop by to visit and say the kindest things.  Words cannot express how much I appreciate you.  I read every comment with a smile on my face, and I’m so grateful for your thoughtfulness, your humor, and overwhelming support. 

So, now that I’ve rambled, I’ll take a big breath and blow out my candles. 

Cupcake with Two Candles

Happy Two Year Anniversary to you Centsational Girl !

smiley_thumb6

Anyone else out there have a great time management tip you’d love to share?  I’d love to hear it!

 

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220 Responses to “On Balance, Blogging, and Turning Two”

  1. Angela says:

    Happy 2 year blogging Birthday! I look forward to each new post and am inspired by many of the things you do.. right now I’ve been creating a Playroom for my little tyke.. Many ideas came from you and have been a lot of fun to try my own hand at!

  2. jeannine says:

    Dear Kate, what a sweet post. Congratulations! I would like to thank YOU for all of the wonderful posts, ideas, thoughts and inspiration. I look forward to your posts as part as my morning routine, i have to admit I held my breath a little reading this thinking you might be signing off :)
    So glad to know there is more to come and I will be able to enjoy many more morning coffees with you!
    ps. i included my blog although I’m using it more like a website- I just published it so it’s a work in progress

  3. Tanya says:

    Congratulations on your two year anniversary. Hopefully there will be many more to come. Great tips on organizing your time!

  4. I am most shocked that your huge blog is only two years old! What an inspiration. I really appreciate this post and it’s a good reminder to do what counts and forget the rest. I’m learning day by day, for sure. I’m so glad you took the time to share this.

    Emily

  5. Happy Anniversary!! I love this post. It is nice to hear how you balance your life!!

  6. Gosh, you’re well balanced. I like the idea of “business hours” and the log in/log off rule. Very wise! You’re like the Galadriel of the internet: sage but gorgeous.

  7. Swapna says:

    Loved the post …. :) Happy Anniversary..and may you have many many more…

  8. Heidi M says:

    Congratulations! I love your tips on balancing everything– I manage to maintain a decent balance MOST of the time, but still have those days or weeks where I get out of whack. I’ll file some of your ideas away for those times so I can get back on track. YOu’re wise to seize your moments with your kids– those times are precious and fleeting. My daughter heads off to college next year so I’m a little wistful and sentimental. :) Continued blessings, Kate!

  9. Stephanie says:

    I just started reading your blog, but love it so far! Happy Blog Birthday!

  10. LindseyR says:

    happy 2 yrs CG!! I hope you really did celebrate with some cake! Thanks for the balance in life reminder and your honesty about how you do it all. Love the “office hours” concept!

  11. Annie says:

    I have taken your advice and found the last room in the house to turn into an office. I am loving having a space to go to that isn’t in the kitchen and in front of the tv. I am getting a lot more done now.

  12. Lisa says:

    Oh, sweet Kate! Thank you for your honesty! :) Deep breath at the Graber house tonight, knowing that even Centsational Girl has to work at it, and can’t have it all together all the time! I knew I loved you! I’m a Chicago girl, and only first found your blog a few weeks ago, but since then have -oh lord, am I really about to say this? – fallen in love with spray paint. Yes, me – who swore it off years ago when my husband made a few spray paint boo-boos in our house. Just today the lady that works at Ace greeted me by name! :) (Yes, hello to you too, Julie!) I swear, you’d be so proud of how far I’ve come in a few short weeks, Kate. I’m like a little Centsational girl protege! Anyway, all the best to you and your dear family. Congrats on the anniversary!

  13. Hip-Hip-Hooray for TWO! I celebrate my 2 yr bloggy birthday coming up in April.

    Loved your post today – I can really relate and appreciate it when I see a successful blogger with striving for balance and setting her priorities straight. Thanks for sharing. :)

  14. Ker says:

    Congrats on 2!
    It’s sort of a cheat, but a couple of years ago, preparing for a week off spent at a conference, I was reflecting on how many phone messages I get, how much time checking messages takes, and how I will for WEEKS avoid checking my voicemail if I know there are 20 messages on it (my personal best is 43.) I figured that maybe a lot of people are like me and only leave a phone message because they’ve called and waited too long until the end of the voicemail and feel less silly leaving a message than leaving an audible “click” and hang up on someone else’s answering machine. So I recorded my voicemail “away” message and left a good 10-15 seconds of total silence at the end of it. Bam! Messages halved or better! Not only that, but you’ve instantly prioritized – people who are willing to wait through 10 seconds of silence usually have something important to say, everyone else will call you back later :) This really works!

  15. Lindsay says:

    I just started following, but particularly enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing, and congrats on 2 years.

  16. Nicolette says:

    Great post! Very informative. A strategy that I find helpful with avoiding time hogs is using a timer. I literally set my phone for x minutes and when time is up I move on to the next task. Sometimes I surprise myself with how much I can get done in just 5 or 10 minutes.

  17. you are awsome!! im not subscribed to the blog, or anything of that NATURE….but i saved the link to ‘favorite blogs’ in my ‘favorites’ tab :) and i click on it everyday!! i still remember a question that i asked you in a comment ( a long time ago) AND YOU ANSWERED ME!! i was really suprised because there were about 100 million comments!! anyways…im always telling people about your blog and how great you work is!!! i love it!! you are very inspiring and talented and congratulations on you two year!! and for being so disciplined with your time management!! AND i think that it is awsome that you read your comments and take the time to respond and make us (me) feel important!!! CONGRATS!

  18. MAZEL! I am excited to see what this year brings you!

  19. Kate, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog – not only your fabulous projects, but how you share the joy you have for life and your sense of humor! Congrats on your anniversary and all the best for the future…wherever it takes you! And you are so right to enjoy those littles while they’re still little! Good for you for finding and focusing on balance.

  20. Patti Z says:

    Congratulations, CG! I just discovered your blog about a month ago and am so encouraged by your projects. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration, ideas and how-to’s. I wish you many more wonderful anniversaries!

  21. Cindy Rutledge says:

    Happy Anniversary! Thanks for inspiring and sharing!

  22. Kate,

    I love this post! So helpful to hear how you manage to balance it all out. It is not easy for any of us to find the right formula. Happy Anniversary! Congrats on your 2 years of blogging. I am excited to see where it takes you in the future.

    Denise

  23. Tina says:

    Happy anniversary! As the mother of 5 grown children, I encourage you to spend as much mom time with your kids now as you can. They really do grow up super fast. I love your blog!!!

  24. Tammy says:

    Happy anniversary, Kate! You feel like a close friend to each one of us, I’m sure! You are very wise and talented for your young age. I rarely surf the web, but for some odd reason was doing just that a year and a half ago when I “found” you! You have become an important part of my life because you are so inspirational and an incredible writer. I am not even a DIYer! And I’m awful at home decorating. I keep the house clean and uncluttered, and that was it. I am slowly applying some of what I learn on your site, and my “house” is looking more like a “home.” My husband, who is very anti-clutter, really enjoys the beautification and concrete tips we learn from you! I’m so glad you don’t sacrifice your marriage or your kids for your blog and all of us followers. Keep up the good work! Love you lots, Tammy

  25. Wow, it seems you and the Nester are all about keepin’ it real today. I love your post and time management tips. I have a girlfriend who tells me all the time “why are you cleaning your house when your kids aren’t home? Don’t you have better things to do?”. I laughed but now I heed that comment whenever I’m home alone. Not that I don’t love when my kids are home – I cherish it but I also cherish my time for me when I’m alone.

    Happy Bday!

  26. Happy 2 year anniversary! I had no idea your blog was so young, I love it. It is such an inspiration. Thank you for the time management tips. I just started blogging in January and have been fighting with time management. I have started to feel like I am neglecting my diy projects (the whole purpose of the blog). Thank you, I am saving this post for reference!

  27. Carmel says:

    Thanks for this wonderful post! I really need to come up with a good schedule. My motto is a lot like yours – mine’s from Disney’s Meet the Robinsons – “Keep Moving Forward”. Cheers to two years!

  28. Michiganhome says:

    Dear Kate,
    I sent you an email asking you how you do what you do, and you said you would write a post on it. And here it is! I didn’t think it would be so soon. Again, you amaze.

    I said I wanted to cross the chasm between how I lead my days and how I think you must lead yours. And now I have a little insight to use as a tool to traverse that chasm. Most poignant was your relating your son’s request: “Momma, are you done with your computer? Will you play with me?” And your response to those words: “I heed them.” Thanks for helping me to remember how I used to be, and where I need to get back to.

    Thank you for this post. Happy two-year blog birthday!

    Love,
    Michiganhome

  29. april says:

    Kate: Happy Two Years! Congrats, Lady! I’ve only just discovered your blog, but I love it already. Thank you for the inspiration. :)

  30. Trina says:

    Happy Anniversary!! Love you blog!

  31. Happy 2 Years! That’s awesome!

  32. Allison says:

    Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary! Great post. You are amazing with all that you do and do it so well. You are an inspiration to me and I am so happy to have found your blog!

  33. Barbara F says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blog immensely for over a year and a half (when I first found it)! You amaze me with all the things you accomplish, Kate. Blog on!!!

  34. I have learned a lot about this, too. I am a tiny little blog and I am only doing it for pure enjoyment – no money or giveaways, no daily blogging. I have a set schedule of topics on certain days. I plan for when I’m going to work on my posts and then I have posts done weeks ahead of time. When my hard drive crashed, I was so relieved that by the time my husband was able to repair it {a week later}, it had no affect on the blog as everything was already scheduled. Thanks for the extra tip, congrats on two years, and all the wonderful inspiration you have!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.blogspot.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  35. Happy bloggiversary! LOVE your blog, your wonderful projects and beautiful photography. Thank you for sharing your wisdom too. I’ve been seeing the need for more time structure in my blogging world. Thank you!

  36. Clancy says:

    Hi there. Thanks for posting this today. I needed some reminders in my life and yours were just the thing and just in time. I think you’re pretty great and thanks for brightening blogland. :)

  37. Erin says:

    Congrats on two years of great blogging! I am also a SAHM of two, and I work part-time from home, so I can relate to trying to find the balance in life. I used to feel badly if I didn’t have a perfectly clean house, and everything always in perfect order. I’ve learned to let that go, because it really is silly and unecessary. Family life is about experiences together, not household perfection.

    In my house, the dishwasher gets run at night before bed, and I do make myself empty it in the morning while my coffee is brewing, so that I can just load dishes back in throughout the day. I try to run all my errands in the morning after I drop my oldest off at school, and I try to work for two hours in the AM and two in the afternoon while my youngest naps and before school pickup, but it sometimes spills over to the evening when the hubs is home. I clean certain areas of my house everyday (kitchen, family room, play room, main bath), and the rest of the house is cleaned in sections throughout the week. Menu planning for the entire week is done on Sunday afternoon and a shopping list is generated at that time.

    Finding balance in our lives is not easy, and rarely is it fun. We make mistakes, but hopefully we learn from them and become better wives/moms/daughters/friends/household COO- you name it. :)

  38. Happy Blog Birthday! Thanks so much for sharing this behind the scenes look at how you do it. As a new blogger with 2 blogs (my home/DIY related one and one for my interstate family to keep up on what our baby is up to) and a first time mum with a very clingy but wonderous 6 month old baby girl, it’s a great motivator to see that a little organisation and structure can produce some fabulous results. Thanks for being so generous with this info and for each and every post. I look forward to any time I can sit down and catch up on reading your blog and it always provides me with a little push to do the next thing that leads towards being able to work at home and not have to go back to my corporate job in August.

  39. Really great advice. Congrats on 2 years and I love the blog!

  40. Tatiana says:

    Happy blogging Birthday! Wishe you only the best! I love your blog!

  41. Debs says:

    Happy blog birthday :) I am an avid reader but a poor commenter…..but I do enjoy reading your blog :)

  42. Amanda says:

    Congrats on two years! My sister and I discovered your blog a few months ago and I’ve been stalking…er, reading it religiously ever since. :)

    This is such an inspirational post. I particularly identified with this line: “My house is never perfectly straightened, dust free, and it is rarely ready for company. So what? Perfection is not my goal, contentment is my goal.” I love that. Contentment IS the goal and I appreciate the reminder.

    You listed some really great time-management tips in here that I hope to be able to utilize myself. Thank you for your blog and keep up the good work!

  43. Amy K says:

    Happy 2nd Blogiversary! Love your blog.
    Today’s post are great words to live by – TFS all you do!

  44. Ana M says:

    Hi Kate,
    Congratulations on your 2 year celebration!
    Love your blog, your projects and probably would love you in person too..
    I’m from Brazil and come here every single day to know what you’re doing and wich is your next project..
    I feel very connected by tha things you write and the feeling you put in your words…
    God keep blessing you, your beautiful family and your blog too…
    :)

  45. Angie says:

    Horay! happy blog birthday. Thank you so much Kate for a wonderful blog & thanks you for being honest to say that your house is not always perfect. I live in Sydney, Aus and am a colour & Interior designer mum of 3 and also spend many of my weekends painting and reinventing furniture and i am truly astounded at the number of projects that you do. Just a few days ago i was thinking while reading your latest post…how does she do it? it seems as if you heard my questions and answered it here in this post!

    Thanks for the great content of your posts, your photography is fab and your one of the only bloggers that actually makes me laugh.

  46. Relax, your continued swimming and things will be solved alone.
    A big greeting

  47. nightowl_72 says:

    Let me add my congratulations to the myriad of others. I found your blog recently and have been VERY inspired. At long last I can see some changes in my home and I feel much more content for it! Thank you for the precious time you give us and I’m glad you have such a fantastic method for keeping your sanity. Well done!

  48. tasha says:

    Happy 2nd blogiversary.

  49. Amanda says:

    This is one of the best posts I’ve read in a while, great tips on balancing family life and blogging, thank you for sharing them, Happy 2nd Blogday

  50. Timothy says:

    Happy 2! Thanks for those awesome tips. I can definitely learn from that.

  51. Great post! You and I share many of the same philosophies and tendencies…I don’t want to wake up to an empty house one day and regret times lost because of all the stuff in our busy lives. Happy Anniversary!

  52. I love the tips about doing dishes and cleaning up at homework time. I had just started doing that as well…its a nice way to be in the mix and available but still getting something done too! (I have 4 kids 6-16)
    Happy Anniversary!! Congrats~Chris Ann

  53. Paula says:

    Thanks for sharing! I agree that a little dust and dishes in the sink are not as important as spending time with our kids (they grow up so fast; my youngest turned 17 yesterday) and doing what makes us happy! Love reading your posts; you are such an inspiration!

  54. Donna says:

    Happy Blogiversary! This blog is amazing and obviously you are too! Thanks for sharing this – I will look at it often, I am a new blogger. Please stop over and visit; and I’ll take any advice offered to make my blog better! LOL

    ~Donna

    htpp://paintedfresh.blogspot.com

  55. Congrats Kate! You have a lot of great tips! One thing that works good for me is the timer. I set it for 30 min- 1 hr (depending on my mood) and I work/play (sometimes hard to differentiate between the two) So my house doesn’t fall apart (though it’s certainly not perfect) and supper probably still gets made ;)

  56. Happy 2nd Birthday!!! I thoroughly enjoy your blog.

  57. Rachel says:

    Congratulations on your special day! What an accomplishment! I love your creativity and you really are so inspiring!

  58. Pat Morin says:

    Congratulations! You did not mention exercise in your post. I so hope that you manage to fit some in so that you will live a long and healthy life too! I love your blog. Thanks!

  59. Nadir@StitchSense says:

    Happy Birthday to the blog! What a wonderful post!!! It really made me think about the way I allot my time in blogging, creating & everyday life. Balance seems to be the hardest thing for me to deal with since starting my business, most especially since I still work full time. My trouble is lack of dicipline. I never allow myself enough time to actually create, since most of my business relies on me actually sitting down & making something to list in my Etsy shop. I usually busy myself with other household chores & before I know it, it’s time to turn in for the night & I haven’t gotten anything I wanted to accomplish done on my blog or in my shop. I’ll be bookmarking this post for future reference! Thanks & again Happy Bloggy Birthday! ~Nadir

  60. Congrats on your 2-year anniversary, Kate! Your blog has been a fave of mine for a long time. I was just talking to a neighbor who said, “I found a new blog that I’m obsessed with. It’s called Centsational Girl.” When I told her I know you and actually met you in person, you would have thought I said I knew a movie star. :)

    Love all this advice about balance. I need to take some of it myself. I always feel about 1 day away from burn-out! I used to have a “computer off by 10:00″ rule that somehow fell by the wayside. Time to bring that back, I think.

    Here’s to many more years of blogging success!!

  61. Maria Killam says:

    Congratulations Kate! Your blog deserves it’s #1 status, you work so hard!
    Thanks for this great post on how you manage it all, I’ve often wondered the same thing as I feel like I’m standing still compared to you :)
    xoxo
    maria

  62. Angela says:

    I love this post! Thank you so much for reminding me to stay on track during “work hours” so I can fully cherish those moments with my family.

  63. Jennifer H. says:

    Congratulations on year number two! I greatly enjoy and appreciate your blog, and have learned a great deal from you and have been inspired to try projects I never would have considered. Thank you for that!

    Your post today was very inspirational for me. As of late, I’ve been overwhelmed a bit at home (five children, one with autism, two homeschooled, new weight loss endeavor) and have been trying to figure out how to balance it all so no one is dropped in left field. I’m no blogger, but your strategies for scheduling daily life are excellent. I love your idea of blocking time to do things so nothing gets overdone or undone. I’m going to try this myself – thanks for sharing with us! Blessings to you and yours.

  64. Wow! I can’t believe your blog is only 2!? You are one of my faves… keep rockin’ it, girl! Happy Blogoversary! :)

  65. xin says:

    Congratulations, Kate! I just love your blog, your style! Your blog is the first one I read every morning! Even after reading how you balancing your time and family, I still cannot believe you can get that many projects done with two little ones. I barely get anytime even with just one toddler. You are absolutely supermom in my book.

    I have one tip for you. But I think it’s not really about time management, more like a tip for lazy person. =) The rule in my house is you don’t run up and down the stairs just to put one thing away. You leave it at the top or bottom of the stairs. Then next time someone need to go up or down, they have to carry as much as they can with them. This saves us some trips, but at the mean time, robs us the chance to lose some calories. I call this method (directly translated from Chinese) “Thieves never go empty handed!” It works most of the times, but once a while, DH just refuse to be the “thief”. =)

    Congrats again! You are absolutely amazing! Keep up the great work, and teach me more!

  66. Adrienne says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months, and just thought I’d tell you how much I enjoy reading it. I have many of the same demands on my life that you do and share your passion for design. I guess I just find comfort/company in seeing somebody going about it so gracefully.

  67. Courtney says:

    Thank you so much for this post. Today hasn’t been the greatest day so far and this post really helped.

  68. LiveLikeYou says:

    Congratulations! What a nice post!! It’s so helpful to read how other moms “do it all” and schedule their time. Most days there just isn’t time enough to get things done. But yes time with your family and rest is the most important!!

  69. Ali says:

    HAPPY 2nd YEAR & here’s to many more!

    Althought I just recently discovered your blog, I am LOVING it! Thank you for finding the balance & still fitting it in. Congrats.

  70. DB says:

    Congratulations! I am a recent subscriber but you have captured my spirit with you do it yourself home projects.
    I recently was given two things that have helped me a lot with time management:
    Remember 888: 8 hours family; 8 hours work; 8 hours rest. Keep it balanced. I, too, work from home but don’t have little ones except the occassional granddaughter visit but I found I was working 50 hours a week since no one else needed me at the moment. My husband works wierd hours with all the past snow we received. I just kept working… but then I grew cranky for not taking time for myself and I ran across this on one of my days off.
    The second thing was from Diane Sawyer – Criticism is a very bad way to express you are unhappy with the present situation. My goal for 2011 is to catch myself before I criticize someone and do what it takes to resolve the unhappiness. Usually – I just need to rest and see it for what it is. I am usually the skewed one.
    Again, congratulations and keep up the good work.

  71. Pam says:

    awesome post! and Happy Blogaversary!

  72. Missy says:

    You are amazing!! very talented!! Happy Anniversary – here’s to many more!!!

  73. Marisol says:

    Congrats I could only wish to do something like this It’s awesome…

  74. Cammee says:

    Happy Birthday! I love your blog, thank you for the time you put into it.

  75. Happy 2nd birthday! It’s great how much you’ve accomplished through this blog. No one can get everything done – it’s all about getting SOMETHING done, which you seem to definitely achieve.

  76. Hedi says:

    Gongrats! Gongrats! Thank you for this needed and interesting post! Don´t forget only you have that kind of skills and creativity that allows you to create and redesign for all those great projects in your beautiful home and be a great Mom.

  77. Congrats on 2 years! I enjoy reading your blog-keep up the great work!

  78. Charlie says:

    Congrats! I’ve been stalking and following almost from the very beginning, and it’s only getting better! Love your stuff. Thanks for sharing, and you have some great advice here. Sounds like you’re in a great rhythm. :)

    Aloha,
    charlie

  79. Erin says:

    I just found this blog a few days ago and I just have to say, I used to be a HUGE Martha Stewart fan, but I have dumped her and you are my new inspiration! You’ve really inspired me – so much that my dining room is already your tranquility tweaked color (That’s how I stumbled on the blog, I was looking for a gray blue but have a horrible time picking the colors myself).

    Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to me! I’m excited to attempt to redo a dresser this weekend using some of your techniques.

  80. Paula says:

    Happy Anniversary! I just wanted to let you know how much I look forward to reading this blog and how much your projects (which always turn out so great!) have motivated me to change things in my home where we’ve lived for 10 years now and for which I just ran out of ideas. Thank you, thank you!

  81. Carrie says:

    Lessons learned! Thanks for sharing…we all struggle to find balance especially with children and really trying to be true to ourselves as creative women! Cheers to your 2 year anniversary!!

    xoxo,
    Carrie

  82. Kathy M says:

    Happy 2nd! I love your blog. I just took a break from re-enacting the Battle of Naboo for the 10th time with my 4 year old. Your picture had me in stitches. That could be my son in the same position.

  83. Congratulations on your #2 Blogday! I am on month 2 and totally excited to hit month 3, 4, 5 and hopefully be celebrating year 1 come December! Your blog is a big inspiration to me and many young and old bloggers alike. Thank you for all of your tutorials, advice, and kind words. Many more Blogday’s to come!!

  84. Yeah on your Blogday!!! Whoo-hoo – I’ve been reading every post for at least the last 18 months! I love it. You are so on point with setting time aside for yourself. I’ve been blogging for close to two years myself and I just came to the conclusion that I can’t keep up with all the other bloggers. I have to do what works best for me. Eventually, my little children’s party blog will find a face of it’s own amongst the hundreds of others out there. I got the flu recently and I’ve not had the flu since the 10th grade!!! That is almost 20 years ago. I’m convinced I only got it because the week that I stayed up hours on end to put out a post a day, wore my body down and I could not fight off anything. So, I learned a lesson, do keep swimming, but sometimes, it’s cool to just flip on over to your back and just float!

  85. Abby K says:

    Happy 2 years!!! I’ve been reading for almost as long as you’ve been posting and I’ve learned so much for you. I can’t tell you have many projects I’ve tackled that I never would have had the confidence to do without your simple instructions. Thanks for putting in all the effort to create such a quality and fun to read blog! I hope you have many more blog birthdays to come!

  86. Congratulations on a very successful 2 years. You must be immensely proud of what you have built. I adore your blog and look forward to many more years of reading it.

  87. Ashley says:

    DUDE. the pic of little man with his awesome star wars reenactment just hit home for me, and kind of made me tear up a little. There’s nothing sweeter. I’ve really been trying to refocus and regroup lately, and, well, it just meant a lot to hear it from you.

    And just remember, when worse comes to worse, you can always sport a bumpit to fluff up your tired day.

    ;) Love ya + happy birthday, friend!

  88. Ashley says:

    PS. I’m totally no. 7000! DO I win a prize???!!!

  89. EWA says:

    This is just what I needed today! Thanks!

  90. Stacy says:

    Congratulations on a lovely blog! You must be very proud!

    I’ve been reading for a little over a year and really enjoyed this post. My advice? That it’s okay to say “No.” – and to put yourself first sometimes. I have to do this to schedule my gym time – it is important to nobody but me, and makes me happy.

  91. Alice A says:

    Congratulations on your 2 year mark!You are such a bright spot in my day, and of course…. bring multiple smiles through each post. We can all use the wonderful points you make on balance and the importance of time with family… planning ahead insures that you will have those times to catch that gleam in your little guys eyes that are meant “just for mom”!
    A special former pastor of ours often used the phrases….. “Keep on Keeping on”, and “Make the Main thing- the Main Thing!”
    Personally I believe you are doing a great job at both… and in so doing you have “Contentment”….. a far better state than constantly striving for the elusive “perfection”
    Again,Congrats, and many thanks for the inspiration you are, and that you bring to us each week!

  92. Lori says:

    Congrats on your two yr anniversary! Thank you for the wonderful advice and peek into your daily life!

  93. Janell Beals says:

    Happy two year anniversary to your fabulous blog!! Great post, it really is about balance, finding what works for you and knowing no one can have it all, at least at the same time! Janell

  94. Amy says:

    Terrific post! Happy Anniversary, and here’s to many more…I love reading your blog!

    My favorite part of the post was the “let go” part. There are so many things I’ve let go of since becoming a mom, and I don’t regret a single one! It’s sound advice.

    I just blogged about a great time-saving tip…an organized grocery list. It saves me time and money!

    http://tulipandturnip.blogspot.com/2011/02/tuesdays-tips-for-busy-families.html

  95. Congratulations!! You have done SO exceptionally well for only have had blogged for two years – congrats, congrats! You deserve every bit of it. I loved learning more about your scheduling today, too!

  96. Oh girl, Happy Blogiversary, and thanks so much for the timely post! I’ve been missing posting so much and have contemplated returning, but had so many worries. You’re advice is fabulous and I’m jumping back in!! :)

  97. Eva says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary!!! I love your blog, and appreciate your sense of humor! Thanks for reminding us that life flies by too quickly – my baby isn’t even 1 1/2, but those 1/2 yrs have FLOWN by!!! Happy 2 years to you!

  98. courtney says:

    WOnderful insight. Congrats on two years. I enjoy your blog!

  99. Stacy says:

    Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary! What an accomplishment. You information was extremely helpful and perfect timing. I am new to blogging and was feeling alot of what you talked about so thank you for those words of wisdom.

  100. Pam Pike says:

    Happy blog birthday and great tips on keeping everything balanced and staying true to yourself and your family.

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