Ignore the Distractions & Keep Pressing!!!

My daughter’s been threatened with suspension from her bus. What did she do? Not sitting in her assigned seat. Why? Another child is sitting in her seat, so she has to sit elsewhere. Has she tried to handle it? Yes. She talked to the boy 3 times and he’s refused to move. Has she told the bus driver? Yes. The bus driver’s response? “I can’t do anything about him.  But if you do it again, you’ll be suspended from the bus.”

MAMA BEAR RANT:

REALLY?? You can’t tell a child to move or they’ll get suspended, but you can tell my child the exact same thing??? Lady…I’m gonna need you to get your life.  You drive elementary, middle school AND high school kids around, but you can’t tell the smallest child on the

Rant over (I’m thinking more, but no point in putting it out there. Serves no positive purpose).

So, my husband will talk to the little boy’s parents. They live around the corner. He’s probably gonna get in significant trouble. That’s not the point, though.

I want to deal with the fact that this driver is rude, leaves kids, leaves kids even when she sees them running to the bus, drives over the yellow line and in the dirt (almost ditch) and is just not professional about her job.

Yeah, I could deal with the child directly, I could deal with the parents. However, that wouldn’t change the behavior of this driver who is endangering children and may need to make a career change for the safety & happiness of all parties involved.

I want the prize. I want the overall issue fixed. Not to mention…

THIS IS A DISTRACTION! I have other, much more important things to deal with! Not saying that my daughter’s health & happiness are not important (I’ll drive her daily if I have to. It’s like 4 minutes, literally!) But I know that last week I sat down and the Lord gave me a weekly schedule to keep. And what’s been popping up all week? Distractions.

This is my advice to you today:

Be sure to understand the difference between important, urgent, necessary, crucial & minor. Checking your goals daily will help you differentiate these categories. Be sure to give them the amount of time that correlates to their weight and you’ll see more and more progress toward your goals.

I hope this was an eye opening post. Now let me go make a phone call. I took care of this goal for the day, so now I have time to go deal with Ms. Bus Driver…I may let y’all know the update (if you think it would be post worthy).

Until next time!

Tonya

Sometimes You Just Have to Stop & Plan…

Hey guys,

I haven’t actually written a post in forever.  But since little people have homework time, I decided to take the few minutes between checking math problems to give you an update.  Stuff has been a bit hectic.  Not because there was so much to do or because the tasks were hard, but because I’d fallen into that habit of not being organized.  You can’t plow through a field with a spoon!  You have to make sure you know what the goal is and get the proper tools to get the job done!  So I had to break down and create a hit list.  What’s a hit list?  Well, let me tell you…

I take a piece of paper (or my color note app) and make a list of all of the random stuff that needs to be done.  I may have to reorder because of priority, lack of tools or the time it’ll take.  It may mean moving things around to a different day.  Some of you may recognize this as the act of time management.  Yep.  More or less.

Today it was tougher because I had SO much to do!!!  I mean, I’m updating my website, paying bills, creating images, answering emails, texts and dodging phone calls (I get a lot of weird cruise offers).  A sista was tired!  I still am.  I need to get out of the house for a bit and walk around.  I know the world is out there to enjoy, but it seems I can’t see past this keyboard!  AAAARGH!!!!  I figured it out, though.  I hadn’t come up with a plan.  I needed to sort my tasks and break them down into bite sized chunks.  So…

I made my own weekly plan.  Maybe it’ll work for you!  I’ll try to keep it simple and just share the plan for my jewelry business.  Y’all pray for me.  I just made this plan so I’ll have to test it to see if it actually works for me!

Monday-plan (what I’ll be sharing for the week)

Tuesday-check inventory & add items

Wednesday-create new images (I’m currently trying Photofy-I actually paid, y’all!  LOL)

Thursday-posts & videos (create & schedule posts & make mini videos for the week)

Friday-clean (the jewelry, files from my computer, emails, subscriptions, my office, whatever)

So……this is how I’ll try to manage my tasks for The Jewelry Lady for a while.  I’ve been hearing that consistency is key for my customers, so if I can release my products on the same day of the week and post videos maybe I’ll reach a few more people and get them what they need!

Now if I’m really good at managing my time, I may be able to get ahead during the planning slot and plan for 2 weeks at a time!  Since I deal with products, this can be much more time consuming.  Does anyone else sell products and feel the same way?

 

Can Your Phone Do This? Great Tips!

Maybe I’m on the slow bus, but there are a ton of voice activated features on my phone that I didn’t know about!!  Did you guys know that you can snooze or stop alarms/notifications and all kinds of other cool stuff?  I didn’t.  Anyway, check out my crazy rant.  Maybe you’ll get something good out of it!  lol

 

 

Sometimes You Have to Stop to Move Forward

I’ve hit a wall. A wall of “too much”. Too much doing. Too much to do in too many places. I’m sure you’ve been there before.

I’ve been asking God for things and then trying to make my own way to them. I’ve been completely out of character. I’ve rushed instead of resting. I’ve moved instead of meditating. I’ve added instead of subtracting. I’ve worried instead of worshiping. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop. Just stop.

Case in point. I was reviewing my husband’s online store data and found that he had the largest number of visitors ever this past Saturday. So I told him to go find out what he did so we can replicate it. I’m thinking it’s one of these fantastic promos we’ve been agonizing, strategizing, planning and toiling over. Nope. Maybe it was a sale announcement What did he do? Sent one email. It was nothing major, nothing fantastic, nothing overly involved or time consuming. It didn’t even take 10 minutes to create, approve & send it.

However, all of this other drama we put ourselves through came to NOTHING. NOTHING. NOT A THING! So why did we do it? Yeah, I don’t know either. I guess we thought it would take all that. Well, lesson learned. We’re cutting the fluff. It’s time to dial it back in a major way and make first things first again.

What’s the first thing? God. Prayer. Resting in His presence. Letting Him be Abba at all times. Being moved by an unction, not an inspiration. When you are moved by the bells and whistles, they begin to drive you, drain you. Keep it simple. Get back to basics. Get back to rest. Watch God move. Tell someone about it. Live a peaceful life again.

That’s all, guys. I love you! God’s peace be in you & have a great day!

Tonya

LAUNDRY HACKS!!!

The kiddos are about to go back to school.  Yay!!!  Mine laid around like hobos & have been in the same set of clothes since June. Ok, not that bad, but Lord.  They need to get out of my HOUSE!  Wait.  School shopping=new clothes + old clothes=LAUNDRY!!!!   NOOOOOO!  Who DOESN’T hate doing laundry?!  Well, Tonya to the rescue!  Here are a few tips from Clutterbug. She has the best hacks! I’ll show you one of my own soon. It’s great for people like me who keep a drawer full of cotton tees, tanks and night shirts. (you know, stuff that needs to be accessible but never ironed). I’ll share that later. But for now, on with the show!!

Check me out next time when I share some laundry folding & storage hacks!

Tonya

Stop Obsessing Over Your Kid’s Grades!

Hi guys,

In my latest post I talk about grades. My husband & I have decided to completely stop stressing about our middle child’s grades because of the school system’s practices. Our children are given assessments, tests & quizzes so often that we all of us were overwhelmed with trying to keep up. Between the emails, conferences, Class Dojo posts, notes home & verbal communication, we were spent. The grades at school weren’t lining up with the benchmarks & the homework wasn’t matching what they were doing in class. It was like a circus. Well, more like a magic show with sleight of hand. We’ll say this, but do that & all the while you don’t know what’s going on until, boom! The year is over & your kid ends up where the school says & there’s no proof to use to come to bat for them because the bulk of the papers sent home aren’t part of their grade. Anyway, since we’ve taken the “not gonna worry about it” philosophy, some interesting things have happened.  Instead of grounding, withholding and fussing because of the letter grade, we’re focusing on him LEARNING.  That means looking for improvement in UNDERSTANDING as opposed to grades.  He may get a concept a week after the test, but dang it, HE GOT IT!  So now we’re doing more discussing, encouraging & supporting.  Even if he doesn’t understand, it’s ok.  He made an EFFORT!  He has his own old school learning style (repetition & hands on, but an avid reader but not great on writing descriptively) & I’m seeing observations from his teachers, but very little modification of teaching style to meet him where he is like old school teachers did.  Anyway, I don’t want to spoil the video, so just check it out. Leave me a comment & tell me if you’ve experienced something like this & how you are dealing with it.

Enjoy!

Tonya

Meal Prep-Some Quick Tips For You

Hey y’all! I’ve got some great ideas for your meal preps. I have a Pinterest board on just meal prep ideas and then I have a board called Yum! where I keep all my plan to do (but may not ever do) recipes if you find this post inspirational and want even more ideas. Anyway, on to the share of the day…

First, my meal prep tips.  There aren’t a lot, but what I’m sharing is powerful, common sense & I overlooked it for the longest time.  Since I kept avoiding these tips, I kept failing and fell back on old habits (drive throughs, compulsive/reflexive eating & even worse, not eating at all for 6-8 hours).  So check these out!

*Sit down and figure out who’s going to be ON the plan.  If you’re the only one on the plan, you can INVITE people to be on it with you, but don’t force it.  Trust me.  Did you ever have a Mom or Dad who went on a diet so EVERYONE had to be on the diet?  And was MISERABLE?  Yeah, let’s not recreate that hostile environment.  Plus it decreases food waste.

*Figure out what everyone who’s on the plan actually likes to eat.  I used to be against this.  I was raised that whatever was cooked, you ate.  Now I realize that I shouldn’t force anyone to eat what they don’t like.  There’s enough options that God put here to make everyone happy.  So I do!

*Use a calendar to keep it all organized.  I don’t need one anymore because we discuss everything so much.  And with 3 kids whose memories are better than mine, believe me, they won’t LET me forget.  They walk in the door like, “Mommy, are we still having “blah-blah-blah” for dinner?  I’m HUNGRY!  I may go back to the calendar when people get more serious about it.  Also, I already know what I cook with what, so it hasn’t been a big deal.  But when I first started the meal planning, whoo!!  Having a one week calendar was a life saver.

*Swap ingredients so you don’t get bored.  Sometimes I have a chicken Caesar salad using my crock pot lemon pepper chicken.  Sometimes I add a sweet potato.  Or a baked potato.  Or fried chicken.  Or rosemary chicken or salmon.  See where I’m going with this?  You already have to eat your stinking vegetables, so put something that gives you a smile in there too.

*Once you make it, they will come.  Not 3 days after I started meal planning, here came my husband.  Mr “I ain’t eatin’ no salad, woman!” turned into “Can I have another salad just like the last one you made me?”  Then he became Mr. “Can you make me salads for the week too?” Yeah buddy, I got you on the ropes now!  Now his butt is feenin’ for salmon and salad!  Mwah-ha-ha!!!!!!!

*Pull everything you need together up front.  It took me a few weeks to get everything.  I had tupperware, but it wasn’t the right size/shape to fit in my lunch bag.  So I took the plunge and bought some from the GROCERY STORE.  Child, YES!!!  I don’t buy ANYTHING as far a cookware or storage from the grocery store because they want your house, car, left big toe & everything else.  I’m a Dollar Tree girl.  But when I found a nice set for around $2 I just plunked the money down and haven’t regretted it.  But I did go to Dollar Tree to get my salad dressing containers.  I didn’t get the disposable kind because that’s just throwing money away.  I must admit, though, those tiny containers look ridiculous in the dishwasher.  Oh, whenever I eat out now, I look at my containers to see if they’d work for my meal prep.  I use this little baby to keep 2 hard boiled eggs. Can you see where I got it??

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So when the hubby wants his salad, it only takes 4 slices & rolling.

*Lay everything out before you start pulling food out.  Put every lid to the side (not under) each container.

I took what I love & made meals for the week. I only really need 3, because the other days I’m at home and have full access (in most cases) to the fridge. This week I made chicken Caesar salad bowls. Here’s what it took:

3 plastic containers for the salads
3 small plastic containers for the salad dressing
3 snack sized zip bags for the sides
crock pot lemon pepper chicken (approx 1/2 a chicken breast, shredded and sectioned into thirds)
1 head of Romaine lettuce (it made 4 salads)
croutons
black olives
shredded Parmesan cheese
sunflower seeds

Or you could put in or take out whatever stuff you like:

eggs
Craisins
walnuts
raisins
cashews
bell peppers
mushrooms (shoot, that’s something I’d usually put in, but forgot to get at the grocery store)
tomatoes
tuna instead of chicken
blueberries
blackberries
strawberries
carrots
crunchy noodles

Again, mix and match the ingredients to get the taste you love.  I figure if they keep saying we should eat more fruits, vegetables & nuts, we may as well enjoy it!!

Ok, enough steps.  Here’s a visual walk through…

I bagged my chicken & put my salad dressing in a container.  My chicken was fresh from the crock pot, so I put it in a baggie to keep it from wilting my lettuce.

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I put my croutons & sunflower seeds in a baggie together so any water from the lettuce wouldn’t make my croutons soggy.  Notice how the hot chicken is away from the lettuce.

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Now everything is packed up and ready to go!  I got these containers from either Food Lion, Harris Teeter or Wal-Mart.  I wish I could remember.  The best I can say is that it’s under $3 for 4 containers and they have this little star in the corner.

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They stack perfectly in the fridge.  Now to keep munchers away from them!
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I know some of you out there meal plan & do meal prep.  What cool tools & methods have you come across?

Next time, I’ll share with you some yummy recipes from Southern fried chicken to Mandarin orange chicken!  Huge time savers with great taste!

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Great Holiday Advice from a Friend of Mine

Hi y’all!  I’ve got a great tip.  Well, some of you may think it’s crazy, but honestly it’s a stroke of genius!  My friend Tiffany has a crazy schedule.  She teaches, is married with 2 sons & is always on the go.  Well, the other day we were enjoying some good old fashioned retail therapy in Christmas Tree Shops when she said (brace yourself):

“With my schedule, I should just skip all the other holidays and go straight to Christmas.”

I know!  The world just stopped and started spinning backwards!  But wait.  Before you pull out the eye roll, clutch the pearls or fall out of your seat, think this idea through.  She’s super busy so (after my first 3 gasps of horror and repeating her 3 times) I paused.  I rolled that thing around in my brain & realized:  IT MAKES SENSE!  Let me explain why:

  1.  We don’t do Halloween.  So there’s nothing to buy.  We may as well budget forward to Thanksgiving.
  2. Thanksgiving is a lot of food & decorations.  Unless you always go to someone else’s house.  If turkeythat’s the case, you may not even have a significant budget for Thanksgiving.  Speaking of Thanksgiving, what’s the color scheme each year for us?  Gold, Red, Green & Orange.  Why’s that important?  I’ll tell you why!  Ditch the orange (& maybe the gold) and what’s left?  Red & green, baby!  So that means you’ve already decorated for:
  3. Christmas!!!  Yep.  So we could really save a ton of work by streamlining the decorations and the overall budget.  You can also see some cool ideas for decorations on my Christmas Pinterest board.

So what do you guys think?  Is it something that you’d do?  Or did the idea just shock you to the point of no return?  Give me some feedback.  And Tiffany, don’t choke me cuz I put your name in this post!!

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What’s For Dinner Tonight?

I’m hungry.  I’m excited for dinner.  What’s for dinner at the Joyner’s?  Something super fast & super yummy!  Here’s my formula:

1 crock pot of ribs + baked potatoes + a green salad=a happy family

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I went to Harris Teeter last week and got a whole bunch of country style ribs & pork roast.  Always be on the lookout for mis-marked items.  They gave me about 4 pounds of meat for free for bringing it to their attention!  I love their customer service.  Other places should adopt their practices.  Oh yeah, back to the meal.  We don’t usually eat pork too much, but it was time for a menu change.  So, ribs it was!  I washed them, seasoned them well (no salt though because they’d be bbq’d) & plopped them into the pot.wpid-20150901_110717.jpg

This is my crock pot.  As you can see by the missing handle, it’s been through a lot!  But I love the buttons.  My other crock pot (God rest its soul) only had an off/hi/med dial.  I like the push buttons better.  It died mysteriously when the liner completely cracked in two.  I have 3 suspects…

I also have a roaster, but I’m not sure how much better it’ll work than the crock pot.  I need to dig it out and give it a chance.  Has anyone used a roaster?  Well either way, I’d say it has some big shoes to fill.  Check out what my baby can do!wpid-20150901_110749.jpg

Yes.  That is super yummy, delectably juicy, fall off the bone, tender succulent rib goodness.  Wipe your mouth, you’re drooling!  These were cooked for 12 hours on low.  I usually cook 4 hours on high.  I must say that there wasn’t any difference in the turnout.  So that’s good news!

Well, at the last moment I had to change the menu from baked potatoes to mashed.  I forgot the children had a dental appointment today.  So…soft food is the way we’ll go tonight.

What are you cooking for dinner tonight?