The Daily Crumb – A Guest Post

hi there!

my name is kathleen, and i blog over at the daily crumb.  i am so happy to be guest posting here on cue your life, one of my favorite blogs!  i love jamie’s daily musings, inventive recipes, and, is the bean not just the cutest thing?!

like jamie, my days are pretty jam packed.  while i don’t have my own little bean running around yet, i stay plenty busy with my own slew of commitments!  i work two fairly full time jobs — as general counselor for a local non-profit organization and as executive director for a private family foundation.  my husband matt and i have two dogs that require loads of love and attention and recently moved into our first home.  i recently started my blog, where i chronicle my adventures in the kitchen developing healthy, accessible recipes as well as daily musing about our crazy life!

i wanted to share today a few tricks i have up my sleeve to keep my days structured, my priorities in line, my husband happy, my household functioning, and myself sane!  here we go…

1.  lists.lists.lists.

each morning, i take out my trusty note card + sharpie and schedule my day to the minute.  this may seem compulsive to many (including my husband), but it keeps me on track and productive.  while working from home, there are many distractions that could circumvent my intended schedule, but having it in front of me, in writing, reminds me of what needs to be done and helps maintain my focus.

2.  maximize cook time

if you’re going to spend time in the kitchen preparing that delicious new recipe, you might as well get as much out of your time as possible.  and by this, i mean leftovers! while there are only two of us eating the food i cook in this house (minus those few scraps the pups always seem to get), i always prepare enough for more.

leftovers are used for the next day’s lunch or stuck in the freezer for a busy night.  often times i will grill a whole batch of chicken breasts on a monday night and remix the leftovers throughout the week.  other dishes that make great leftovers:

•    soup + chili (very transportable and freezes well)

•    grain based salads (store in the fridge for up to 4 days)

•    healthy quick breads (great breakfast or on-the-go snack)

•    grilled chicken or other protein (add to stir fry, make a sandwich or salad — all with the same batch)

veggie based pastas (taste even better the next day)

3.  exercise first.

exercise is important to me.  my fitness activities of choice these days are walking, jogging, and yoga.  i have found, over the past few years, that i need to make exercise a priority; otherwise, the to-do list takes over, plans are pushed to the side, and my workout is often a casualty of a busy day.

i not only make sure my workout is fit into my schedule (see above!), but also try to knock it out first thing in the morning.  this often times will mean setting my alarm 45 minutes earlier than i would otherwise, but when that beeping pulls me from my deep sleep and warm blankets, i just remember how great i’ll feel the rest of the day with my workout behind me.

4.  just say no

up until recently, i had a problem.  a big problem.  i, for the life of me, could not say no.  an invitation to dinner, request to volunteer, shopping with my mom…. you get the picture.  while there is nothing wrong with being available to other people, especially when they need you, what i realized what that i was helping others at my own expense.  i was over-committed, stressed, anxious, and always tired.

nowadays i prioritize my invitations.  i generally will not go out on a weeknight as it tires me out for the following day, and significantly decreases my productivity levels.  and that’s ok.  i don’t always jump when my parents invite us to dinner because sometimes i feel like eating on my couch in pajamas.  and that’s ok.  i put my needs and the needs of my family before others.  and that’s ok.

5.  find the time.

this next and final tip piggybacks on #4, but is worth mentioning.  if there is one thing you take from this post, please let it be this: find time for yourself.

go for a walk, read a book, take a bath, paint your nails.  i challenge you this week to take 15 minutes each day — 15 minutes! — for you.  it is so important, and so often neglected.

and finally, don’t forget to get a little crazy once in a while 🙂

4 Responses to “The Daily Crumb – A Guest Post”

  1. Great tips, Kathleen! I love making lists! I think that they are the secret to success! And I agree that if I don’t get my run or exercise in early, it often gets pushed out or at least reduced.

    I especially appreciated your tip about learning to say no… that’s one I could work on.


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