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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Do You Make New Year's Resolutions?



Let me start by saying, I'm not asking this question to judge you on your answer.  Whether you make resolutions or not is not right or wrong, no matter what your choice is.

I've had many conversations with people over the last few days about resolutions.  Some had resolutions, and others said "resolutions don't work, it's a waste of time".

Whether you make "resolutions" or not is up to you.  I think many people see this time of year as a "new beginning, and therefore, a good opportunity to embark on a new venture.  I personally don't think there's anything wrong with that idea.  Regardless of when, during the course of a year, you decide to make a change in your life, I don't think the time of year has much to do with whether you will be successful or not.  I think the key is the mindset you go in to your venture with and whether you are setting realistic goals for yourself.

I've had goals set for myself at different times of the year, the time of year had little to do with whether I reached my goal or not.   One of my key learnings was that I had to set goals with clear parameters and that were reasonable to attain.  Any of my goals that involved extremes (ie - going from not exercising to exercising an hour a day 7 days a week, or cutting out carbs from my diet), were rarely successful.

As long as you are evaluating your goals, and believe they are reasonably attainable, that's what's important.   And if you "fall off the wagon" with your goals, the important thing is to re-evaluate and try again.

So, perhaps New Year's resolutions are not for you, and that's ok, but they may work for someone else.

Do you make resolutions?  What helps you stay on track to achieve your goals?  Feel free to share in the comments section or on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/overtiredmama/


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking for the Sunny Side of 2016

So, if you have been on social media at all in the last few weeks you can see that there is a common theme: 2016 was the worst (apparently).

I will fully acknowledge that 2016 had some weird things happen.  I'm sure there has to be at least some good that came out of this year, right?

One of the recent trends I've seen in the last couple weeks are people sharing their positive experiences from 2016.  Even if 2016 was the worst year ever for you, this is a good exercise - think back, and was there a time this year that you had fun?  Laughed so hard it hurt?  Smiled?  Or even just had a really good hug?

In an effort to start 2017 on a good note, I challenge everyone to think of something, even if it is just one moment, but think of something that was positive for you in 2016.   You can either keep that to yourself, or share in the comment section (or on our Facebook Page ).

I will start - I put my feet in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in September.  I had never been to the West Coast before, so this was exciting for me!  And I was there to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary to my husband.

I have other amazing memories, and I won't go in to all of them, but here are some photos to represent those moments:

Cuba in April

My "Happy Place"

Universal Studios!


Let me say that doing this exercise does not diminuish any negative things that happened this year.  I just think that if we focus on the positive as we finish this year, that it starts us off on the right foot for 2017!   What are your favourite moments from 2016?  Share in the comments below, or join me on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/overtiredmama/

Friday, December 30, 2016

We Can't Do It All

I learned an important lesson over the last month.  As many of you know, I work full time, I have a busy little girl involved in a lot of activities, we've been renovating our home, and I'm a part-time MBA student.



I had been managing all of my commitments until I got closer to Christmas.  My workload suddenly exploded and I was in a course that was extremely time consuming.  I convinced myself I was fine and that this was temporary and this would pass.  But then I wound up in the Emergency room.  Completely run down.

I think many of us can struggle with trying to be "all things to all people".  And I have even found myself preaching to others that you need to learn to say "no", and that you can't please everyone.  And yet, here I was, at the hospital, having been my own worst enemy.

Upon my return to work a co-worker said to me "You need to start taking care of yourself.  Your daughter needs her mom.".  Of course, I thought, that's common sense!   And yet, I wasn't following that idea.

So I made a decision for myself, I was going to make more of an effort to take care of me.  More "me time".  I took a semester off from school, and I'm learning to say "no" to things that I can't manage.

Do you make time for yourself?  What do you do to help yourself relax?  Feel free to share in the comment section, or come over to our Facebook page and tell us: https://www.facebook.com/overtiredmama/



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cash for Christmas Giveaway!

Are you getting geared up for the shopping season? Do you need extra cash for Christmas?? Don't we all!?

We are so excited to be giving away $330 (US) in prizes for you to use starting the US Thanksgiving weekend.

 Here are the prizes (all in US funds): 
1 - $100 Amazon Gift Card 
1 - $75 Target Gift Card 
2 - $50 Walmart Gift Card 
1 - $25 Kohls Gift Card 
3- $10 Starbucks Gift Card 

There will be 8 winners in this giveaway. Each winner will receive a gift card code to use on the online store or in the actual store. Now its time to meet our wonderful co-hosts who have made this giveaway possible. Cash for Christmas
Starting at the top row we have:
Terri - Christmas Tree Lane, Melissa - The Farm Girl Gabs, Christine - Your Strong Tower, Audrey - That Recipe & Munofore, Dana - Goods Giving Back, Tammy - Creative K Kids, Trish - Creative Simplicity by Trish Sutton, Kim - Shopping Kim and Enter Online Sweeps, Ali - Home Crafts by Ali and Ali's Book Nook, Kelly - Typically Simple, Kim - The Resourceful Mom, Katie - The Ramblings of an Overtired Mama, Angie - God's Growing Garden, Sarah - Devastate Boredom, Karen - Raising Little Superheroes, Gina - Money Savvy Living, Beverly - Eclectic Red Barn, Melissa - Deliciously Savvy, Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls, Meredith - The Mom of the Year, Laura - Michigan Saving and More, Debbie - Heartbeats ~Soul Stains, Carol - The Red Painted Cottage, Tiffany - A Wandering Vine, Monica - Mommy & Love, Holly - Keeping Life Sane, Sinea - Ducks 'n a Row, Cindy - Simple Steps for Living Life, Tammy - My Life Abundant, Kari - Keep It Simple DIY, Danielle - Dancing with My Daughter

Please stop by and say hi to these wonderful ladies and their blogs.

You can enter the giveaway beginning at 12:00 AM on November 11th, until 12:00 AM November 24th.

The giveaway will end midnight on Wednesday, November 24th, the night before US Thanksgiving. You will have 48 hours to respond to the email claiming the prize. If you respond right away, we will get you the gift card code promptly so that you can shop with it on Black Friday! If we don't hear in 48 hours, we will choose another winner. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Vacation in Los Angeles and Las Vegas

My husband and I will have been married 10 years at the end of this month.  We decided to take our first extended vacation as a couple, since before our daughter was born.

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I am totally addicted to travel, and I love searching for a good travel deal.  That's how this vacation came to be.

I found a fantastic deal on a flight to Los Angeles from Chicago ($49 Canadian - taxes included!!), so we decided to add that piece to our already booked Vegas vacation.  We found a fabulous property on Airbnb.

 

I've written many posts about my love for vacation rental properties.  This particular place had a pool, barbecue, hot tub, TV, and more.  We also had more space than a typical hotel room, and paid less than the price of a hotel in the area.  ( Check out my vacation rental post for more tips: http://www.overtiredmama.com/2016/08/tips-for-booking-rental-property.html )


Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'm Going Sugar-Free!

Many of you who read this blog know how passionate I am about the Canadian Cancer Society.  As I witness more family and friends have their own experience with cancer, it just heightens my resolve to do what I can for this cause.

This month, the Canadian Cancer Society launched its "Sugar-Free September" campaign.  I had a quick read about the campaign, and decided to sign up.  Now, let me begin by saying, I am a true sugar addict.  I would eat and drink copious amounts of sugar every day.  It was even bad enough that I would hide some of my sugary treats from my family.  I knew this wasn't good for me, but I did it anyway.

Sugar-Free September has some basic rules - no items with added sugar, fruits and veggies are permitted.

Me and my favourite sugar-free smoothie!


Now, don't get me wrong, I won't say I'm "completely" sugar free.  I'm still eating pasta and bread, but in reduced amounts.

The first week of any change in your habits is typically the hardest, or at least it is in my experience, and this challenge was no exception.   In the first week, not only did I give up sugar, but, without intending to, I gave up coffee.  Why?  I am a "sugar in my coffee" kind of girl.  I've never been keen on sweeteners (I just don't like the taste), and I was never able to drink black.  So, 3 days in to the challenge, I started having headaches.  My head and body were sore for the entire first weekend of the challenge.  I felt tired as well.   It was like having a bad cold.

Once I made it through the first weekend, I started to notice several changes in how I felt.  I'm someone who always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and I sleep much better now.  As someone who relied on caffeine to get me through the day, energy wise, I was surprised at how much more energy I felt throughout the day.  And I've also experienced some weight loss.

This is not about total deprivation.  There are plenty of yummy things to eat without sugar (or at least reduced sugar), so I have found this totally doable!  My breakfast smoothies are my favourite part of the day!  And so much better than having no breakfast.

I now have very few cravings, and hope to continue beyond September.

Have you ever gone sugar-free?  Would you consider it?  Feel free to share in the comments!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Why Do You Love Disney?

I get asked this question regularly.  I didn't take my first trip to Disney until I was 31 years old.  I used to think I wouldn't enjoy it - children's characters everywhere, so many people, etc.  I had visions of our local yearly carnival, but on a bigger scale.



Boy was I wrong.

We have traveled to Disney for each of the last 4 years.   I put a lot of work in to saving and bargain hunting.  Some people may think that sounds like a nightmare, but I actually love travel bargain shopping.

From the first time I stepped in to a Disney Park, I knew I loved it.  Cheesy, right?  But it's true.

Why do I love Disney?  I love the excitement leading up to the trip.  I love seeing all of my favourite childhood characters.  I love seeing the look on my daughter's face when she meets the princesses.  If I can be cheesy again for a moment, I would describe it as a truly magical experience.

A few of my favourite things:

1 - Breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and Friends at Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom) - A delicious breakfast, as well as meeting your favourite characters.  They come to each table, sign autographs, and you can take pictures with them.


2 - Princess Fairytale Hall (Magic Kingdom) - I am a princess at heart, so I love meeting all of the Disney princesses, and this is a great place to meet some of them.

3 - Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom) - I have ridden this ride in the cold and on a drizzly day, and I've waited on a hot day over an hour.  That's how much I love this ride.  It's a good long ride too.

4 - Tower of Terror (Hollywood Studios) - A good jolt to the heart in this ride.  But the queue is equally as cool.  Lots to see.

5 - Expedition Everest - Such an awesome coaster.  You get some pretty good views from the top of the coaster too!



I'm going to cut my list off there, but believe me, I could go on and on.

Check out some of my previous posts for tips on how to save money on your Disney trip.

What are your favourite things about Disney?  Feel free to share in the comments!