How To Speed Clean When You Have Too Many Distractions

It can feel impossible to clean your home without distractions.  In this post, Jenn shares her 7 speed cleaning distraction free tips with you so you can successfully speed clean your home.  Included is a free speed cleaning workbook to help you successfully speed clean your home without distractions.

Let me know if this sounds familiar?

Notifications are blowing up your phone, kids need your undivided attention, texts are coming in, and all you want to do is a quick clean up of your house.

In this post, I'm going to share 7 tips with you to help you speed clean your home without distractions.  Stay tuned until the end because I've put together an amazing bonus for you!

Now, the phone blowing up and the kids needing your undivided attention are just a few distractions that, as busy moms, we face.  Things being misplaced, noticing that something else needs attention, these are all things that come up when we are trying to clean.

Have you ever started scrubbing a toilet and then find yourself in the kid's room organizing their sock drawer?

If so, you are not alone.  This used to be an almost daily occurrence for me...

So how do you overcome the distractions?  It's not like you can take these distractions away like you can take a toy away from a child.

But you can put systems in place that will help you make sure that you aren't following every shiny object that you see.

That's exactly what I'm going to help you with, and it brings me to my first tip.

Clean when you have a clear mind 

When you are not focused or don't have a clear mind, that is when people tend to drift.  If you find yourself feeling scattered or even overwhelmed before you start cleaning you may find yourself bouncing around.

So how do you fix this?  Well, you have a few options.  Some I will be talking about later on.  But for starters, if you are feeling anxious or scattered then it is best to sit take a deep breath and know that if you are distracted it will only take you longer to complete.

The big important takeaway is to make sure you are only cleaning what's important.  Sweeping the garage or cleaning out the dryer vent probably isn't your top priority when you are wanting to speed clean your home.

clear your mind

Finish one room at a time

Finishing one room at a time can seem easier said than done.  What do you do when you find something that belongs in another room?  

But you cannot expect to speed clean while you are multitasking.

My favorite thing to do is to have a basket that I bring with me room to room.  If I find something in there that doesn't belong, just throw it in and take care of it when you are in that room.  

For instance, if you are in the bathroom and someone's shoes are in there, don't walk them to that room, just throw them in the basket and wait.  This will help remove some of that distraction.

Believe me, when I find myself going from room to room zig-zagging all over the house I end up cleaning areas that I didn't plan on cleaning and it wastes time that frankly, I just don't have.

At the end of this post, I'm going to be sharing something pretty awesome that will help you with that so stay tuned for that.

Create a cleaning caddy

Believe it or not but having a cleaning caddy really helps remove distractions.  If you have everything you need to clean you will not have to leave the room you are in.  

This caddy is going to go into each room you go into.  So it is important to make sure it is stocked with everything that you need.

A cleaning caddy is something quite simple you can put together.  All you really need is a bucket, your favorite cleaning supplies, and your cleaning checklist and you've got yourself an organized cleaning caddy for you to use.

Inside the bonus I've put together for you is a cleaning caddy checklist to help you create your own cleaning caddy!

** Simple cleaning tip! **

I use an all-purpose steam cleaner to really deep clean my floors, walls (when needed), showers, and sinks I like to add a few drops of essential oils to the water so my home smells fresh and clean.

** Simple cleaning tip #2! **

Try laminating your cleaning checklist so you can use them without them getting ruined.

Now that you have cleared your mind, you're focused, you know to clean one room at a time, and you have a fully stocked cleaning caddy it's time for my next tip...

Cleaning caddy

Create a cleaning route

This by far will help you remove some of those distractions.  Sure, your cleaning route isn't going to have your keeps needing your undivided attention but it will help you stay focused.

First, let me explain what a cleaning route is.  A cleaning route is a mapped out route that you will take when you start cleaning.  This route will be efficient and help you stay on track.

How do you create one?

I like to start at one end of the home and finish at the other end of the home.  Now depending on how your home is laid out, you might find yourself following a loop.  

The big important thing to pay attention to is not zigzagging around the house.  Jumping from one room to the next will only waste time and if you are planning on speed cleaning the house, it will only eat up your valuable time.

Inside the bonus I have for you, you can create your own cleaning route to help you with this.

Clean when your kids are at school, napping, or sleeping

If one of your biggest complaints about cleaning is you can't clean with your kids around then maybe it's time to either clean when they're not around or have them help.

You have a few options that I'm going to go over.

Now if your kids are super young you can probably wait until they are sleep to grab 20-minutes to quickly clean up the house.

If your kids are school age then you can schedule 20 minutes during the day to do a quick speed clean.

Now if your kids are anything like mine then you might need to give them jobs.  When my kids were younger they wanted to "help" all the time.  So instead of fighting it, I decided to give in and give them "super important kid jobs" they were given jobs like cleaning the cupboard doors with baby wipes or putting papers in a paper bag for recycling.

They felt important and included and I was able to keep up with the cleaning I wanted to do.  

I created a chore chart for them.  One child loved stickers so she added a sticker to the chore chart and the other loved stamps so I had her put a stamp on the chore chart.  

After 10 stickers or stamps, they were able to pick out a treat in the Target Dollar Spot.  

They loved it.  It felt like a win-win.

helpers

Only common areas

When I say speed clean I mean speed clean.  I don't think cleaning closets or cleaning behind the fridge is part of that.

Those areas can be dealt with at a different time and I can explain them in a different post.

Think of speed cleaning as quickly picking up before company comes for a surprise visit.  You are freshening up the house, removing clutter, spot cleaning.  

There is no need to move furniture and sweep or vacuum underneath them.

If you find yourself in a room that company wouldn't go into, don't clean that area during a speed clean.

Some of the common rooms would be the kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, main bathroom, and entryway.  

Making the speed cleaning a little easier to deal with.

Cleaning schedule/Cleaning routine

You may not know this about me but I love routines.  Routines have saved me from the overwhelm more than once.  I'm able to create a plan and then execute it without having to remember what to do next.

My kids have told me more than once that I suffer from shiny ball syndrome, and you know, they're right.  

Without a routine, I wouldn't get half of the things done that I'm able to get done.

It helps me stay accountable, on track, and if I start drifting I have something that will help pull me back to where I need to be.

So the best way to create a cleaning routine/cleaning schedule is to figure out what needs to be done.

3.png

Since we are talking speed cleaning here it's a little simpler.  Spot cleaning common areas, picking up items that don't belong and refreshing the house so it feels like something was accomplished.

Well, you are in luck, a few times inside this post I've been referencing to a tool to help you create a system that will allow you to speed clean without being distracted.

I've put together a speed clean workbook for you.  Inside this workbook, I've included everything you need to be successful with your next speed cleaning session.  There's a checklist that includes everything that I've gone over with you today. 

A cleaning caddy checklist so you can create your own cleaning caddy, a cleaning route worksheet, a chore chart for your "super important little helpers", a cleaning routine worksheet, and I've included my 20-minute speed cleaning checklist.

All you need to do is click the button below to download your free workbook!

I would love to know in the comments below what will you be doing to help yourself with the distractions?  Are there things that you do that are listed in this post?  Let me know in the comments below.

If you are feeling inspired to speed clean your house without distractions and know of others that need this post I would love it if you shared this post with your friends!  All you have to do is click on the social icons to your left.  

Thank you so much for stopping by I hope this post has helped inspire you to find 20-minutes in your day to do a quick speed clean of your home!

Jenn

How to remove nasty stains from the carpet quick & simple

If you don't have the time to pull out the carpet shampooer or if you don't have one BUT you have carpet stains you need this post.  In this post, Jenn shares how she was able to remove a kale smoothie stain from the carpet using 2 items you probably have in your home right now.  Included is a free Quick & Simple Stain Removal Checklist.  Click through to learn more.

There is nothing worse than to have your newly clean carpet messed up with a spill.  You don't have the time or the energy to pull out the carpet cleaner so what do you do?  In this post, I'm going to share how I was able to remove a stain from the carpet without having to pull out the carpet cleaner -- using items that you'll probably have at home.

About 7 years ago my husband and I got on the kale smoothie bandwagon.  Each morning I make the whole family a nice kale and fruit smoothie to start the day.  It allows me to know that we are all starting the day with more than a serving of fruits and veggies every morning.

The only problem is when someone spills the carpet seems ruined with a nice deep green stain.

I can just imagine what my guests think when they see those stains on the carpet.

That's why it's so important to get to the stain before it sets in.

So when my husband spilled his smoothie on the carpet this morning I needed to act quick.  The problem was I didn't have enough time to pull out the carpet shampooer and go over the stain 70 times.

I had heard of people swearing by using white vinegar and baking soda to remove stains so I thought I would try and write about it too!

First thing I did was clean the area with water and a dish rag.  I wanted to remove the excess smoothie from the carpet.

kale smoothie carpet stain.jpg

Then I added a good amount of white vinegar to the stain.

white vinegar on stain.jpg

Then I sprinkled some baking soda over the vinegar and it instantly started bubbling.  I let it sit for 20 minutes.

Baking Soda on stain.jpg

Once the 20 minutes were up, I took a damp warm cloth and wiped up all of the extra baking soda.  I took another warm damp cloth to scrub the stain.  I was surprised, I didn't have to scrub that much.  As you can see below, the stain was basically gone.

I waited a few hours to let that area dry and I vacuumed.  As you can see, no kale smoothie was visible.  This took me less hands on time then using the shampooer and the stain came out.  

stain removed.jpg

The next time you have a fresh stain I recommend using this method on them.  Stay tuned for another post because I'm going to try this on an old stain and see what type of results I see.

Now if you want to try this on any stains you have on your carpet and need a little assistance, I created a stain removal checklist to help you out.  You can download, print it out so you have it handy for any stains you need to remove.  All you need to do is click the button below to download the checklist.

stain removal checklist 2.jpg

If you know of someone that might love to see this tutorial, you can share this post with them through social media or email.  All you need to do is click the share button that is located on the left hand side of this post.

I would love to know in the comments below have you tried other ways to remove stains from your carpet?  I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

How to live frugally without feeling like you are

If you are tired of feeling like you are living frugally and want to enjoy some of the finer things in life, then you need this post.  Or maybe you want to live frugally but don't want to give certain things up.  In this post, Jenn shares 8 tips that will help you live frugally without feeling like you are.  Included is a living frugally without feeling it workbook to help you save more money.  Click through to learn more!

I'm just going to say the thing you're not supposed to say... Living frugally sucks.  It's like going on a chocolate-free diet.  You find yourself only wanting to eat chocolate.  Standing in line at Target -- yes, I need that chocolate bar.  Finishing lunch and ready to reach for the chocolate.

Living too frugally can feel the same way.  Noticing all of the warn down things in your home, seeing great deals on things that maybe you don't need but -- you're being frugal right because it's on sale!

What if there was a way you could live frugally without feeling like you are.

Now that I have your attention.  In this post, I'm going to share 8 ways you can live frugally without feeling like you are restricting yourself or going without.  I've also put together amazing bonus together for you so stay tuned!

There's something about knowing you can't do something and then just needing to do the opposite.  It's like there's an inner 15-year-old in all of us just waiting to get out and rebel.

The problem with living frugally is that we feel like we can't spend money on anything.  Or when we do we find ourselves cheaping out on things that break so quickly that it was a giant waste of money.

Over the years my husband and I have gone back and forth between a super restrictive frugal budget to a not so restrictive budget.  By going back and forth we were able to find ways that we can live frugally but also be able to enjoy things that we really do love.

If you are constantly restricting your budget, not allowing anyone to spend anything that's when the extra spending comes into play.  Your 15-year-old self-comes out to play and starts making poor money choices.

There are certain conveniences that we find that we need for ourselves.  If you are an Overwhelmed Busy Mom then there are certain things that you just can't go without.  That's why it's important to be smart about your purchases.

Which brings me to my first tip...

Stock up when those name brands you love are on sale!

If there are certain conveniences that you just need to have to either save you time or save your sanity there is no reason why you can't go without.  That's why you should totally stock up on those items when they go on sale.

Now if you find your favorite conveniences on sale but aren't sure if it's a good deal you can definitely check to see if that price is a good deal.  Head over to PriceGrabber.com type in what you're looking for and check the deals.

For grocery deals, you will want to check out MyGroceryDeals.com type in what you are looking for and then it shows you the lowest price.

If you find a deal that is just too awesome to pass up, stock up!  Don't forget to check to see if there are coupons that you can use with those deals for an even better deal.

1 stock up.png

Notice the cost per use.

Being frugal can be tricky.  You will want to go for the cheaper brand but is it really cheaper?  It is important to look at the cost per use to see if you are really getting a good deal.  Sure you can find something for $1 but if it only has 5 uses and then you see something that is $3 and has 20 uses you really want to be spending the $3.

I believe that there are things that cost more but do save you in the long run.  For instance, there is house brand laundry soap or dishwasher detergent that just don't clean like I want them to -- or even expect them to.  So spending a little bit more with save me time and money.  

If you splurge for a brand you know works you don't have to worry about rewashing items.  Or if you know certain brands don't take as much product as others that too will save you money.  Just make sure you are getting the best deal before you purchase.

2 cost per use.png

Subscription services

Another great way to save a little extra money is subscription services.  Places like Amazon and Target will give you extra savings when you add things to their subscription service.

The reason why I'm such a huge fan of this service is that it also saves me time.  Every 3 months I have a few big boxes show up on my doorstep.  I don't have to go to the store to buy them, I don't have to remember to put them on my list.  

I just know they are going to be delivered every 3 months.

The more you add to your service the more you save.  For Amazon, you save 5% for the first 5 items (I think) and then it goes up to 15%.  

For some extra savings there are websites that show you lists of items that are $2 and under you can add to your subscription to help boost you to that 15%. 

Check out The Mash Up Mom for her list of 20 items that are $2 or less.

Check out The Refind Mom for Subscribe and save under $5

You will also want to check out Amazons coupons for the month to help with the savings!

3 subscription.png

Now that you're saving money on items you like what about your food.  Being frugal doesn't mean you only can eat rice and beans to survive.  I have a few tips to help you still be frugal but enjoy eating out.

But before we talk about restaurants...

Meal plan with a detailed list

This is something that I think is missed.  Sure we all talk about meal planning but we don't talk about how important it is to create a detailed list.

Your list can make or break your weekly or monthly menu.  

Why is that?

Because items are often forgotten at the grocery store.

Now the best way I have found to create a detailed list is to first create the menu.  I like to take a look at what's on sale at the store that week to help me out.  This helps me save money.

But I don't just plan for dinner.  I plan for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

There's nothing worse than running out of food 4 days into your 7-day meal plan.  We pay so much attention to dinner that we often forget to plan for lunches, breakfast, and snacks.  So what happens is we eat out for breakfast and lunch.

Which is not being frugal and probably blowing your budget.

Once all of the meals are planned out then it's time to check the kitchen and pantry for items that are needed.  Add everything you need to your list.

Your final step is to create your master list.  I like to put this together in order of where it is in the store.  This saves me time and with my list being in order, I don't forget items.

The best way to do this is to get the store's map and then you can create your list.  You can find the store's map on their website or if you're at the store you can ask for one.

I do have a real detailed meal planning planner inside The Ultimate Busy Mom Planner to learn more about the 166-page planner you can click the button below.

Now we all know that eating in is the easiest way to save money and live frugally but sometimes we need a break from the kitchen.  So how do you live frugally and eat out at the same time?  Well, I'm glad you asked, that brings me to my next tip.

Happy hour - appetizers - kids eat free

Yes, happy hour, appetizers, kids eat free, and even splitting an entre' will save your money.  

Going to dinner during happy hour have its advantages.  The restaurant is usually less busy (that's why it's happy hour) but if you cannot do the 4-6 happy hour and 8-10 happy hour is out of the question then this might not be for you.

Some restaurants have daily deals.  Maybe your favorite dinner is on sale on Thursdays so you don't have to worry about making happy hour, just plan a family dinner on the days that your meals are on sale.

Ordering appetizers can help save a ton of money too.  Appetizers aren't 3 bites anymore, they in many instances, are full on meals and they are like half the price.  You can even split the appetizer and save even more money.

My husband and I love to order a plate of nachos at our local Mexican restaurant during happy hour.  We save $3 by going early and we save even more by splitting the appetizer as our meal.  

We end up eating out for about $15.

Not bad!

If you have kids under the age of 12 (in most cases) you can find restaurants that have kids eat free on certain days.  

Again, at our local Mexican restaurant, they have kids eat free on Tuesdays and Sundays so we are literally eating out for $15 for the entire family.

5 happy hour.png

Now living frugally cannot be complete without knowing where your money is going.  Which brings me to my next group of tips...Finances...

Organize your bills and use a budget

This is so important if you are wanting to live frugally.  Set up a budget and organize your bills.  It is so easy to waste money on late fees, interest charges, and other silly fees when your bills aren't organized and you don't have a budget put together.

Inside The Ultimate Busy Mom Planner, there is a full budgeting planner included with debt trackers, debt pay off schedules and more.  If you want to take a look, click the button below.

6 budget.png

Track your spending, know where your money is going.

No budget is complete without knowing where your money is going.  It is important to track your spending.

Track everything that is coming and going out.  You can grab a simple piece of paper and write what you bought, when it was spent, and how much.  Then you can do the same thing for money coming in.

Again inside The Ultimate Busy Mom Planner all of that is included so you can organize your finances.

7 track spending.png

Finally, my last tip about how to live frugally without feeling like you are is...

Negotiate your bills

We so often just pay our bills without questioning the price.  Try calling and seeing if you can negotiate the price or get a lower price.

If you have cable or satellite TV try calling about every 6 months for a better deal.

If you have medical bills, call them up when they come in and see if you can get a lower price.  Do keep in mind that they may require payment at the time of your call.  

When my oldest daughter became ill and spent some time in the hospital we had bills coming in left and right.  Mind you, we have insurance but it was all of the co-pays and the "out of network" garbage that we had to pay for.

At the bottom of one of the hospital bills read "Call us to see if you qualify for a discount."  Well, I called and guess what?  I qualified for a 25% discount.  They did require that I pay over the phone but I was totally fine with that.

So it doesn't matter what the bill is, call and see if you qualify for a discount, promotion, or anything else that will help you save a little money each month.

When you organize your bills, create a list of your bills and when the price will increase, and when it's time to call them up for a deal.

Regardless if you are or aren't living pay check to pay check it is important to live a somewhat frugal lifestyle.  You never know what the future has in store for any of us.

8 negotiate bills.png

Now I know that a lot of information was thrown at you.  In this post, I shared my 8 tips to help you live frugally without feeling like you are.  For your household and grocery items, I shared that you should try to stock up on items when they go on sale, notice the cost per use to make sure you are really getting the best deal, and finally utilize subscription services.

When it comes to eating, my tips were to create a meal plan with a detailed list making sure you include all of the meals.   Know that you don't just have to eat in to live frugally there are simple ways to enjoy eating out try going to happy hour, eating appetizers, or going on the days when they have deal or sale.

Probably the most important part of how to live frugally without feeling like you are is to organize your finances.  Make sure you organize your bills, create a budget, track your spending, and please try negotiating your bills when it is possible.

Since I know that was so much to take in at one time, I did put together an amazing bonus for you called the Living Frugally Without Feeling It Workbook.  Inside this workbook, I have a quick reference page that has all 8 tips for you plus action worksheet for you to use to help you take action on each of the tips I showed you today.

This workbook is free, all you have to do is click the button below to download it.

I would love to know in the comments below what tips will you be doing to help you live more frugally?  Are there tips that I didn't share that you do?  Let me know I would love to hear all about it.

If there's someone you know that would love or need this in their life you can easily share it with them by clicking on the share button located on the left.

Thank you so much for stopping by and below are a few other posts that I though you'd enjoy!

15 Must Have Items in your Natural Medicine Cabinet

In this post, you'll learn the 15 items you need to stock in your medicine cabinet to help keep you and your family healthy during the cold and flu season.  You'll also learn what these 15 item do to help you stay healthy.

Hi, Busy Moms!  I’m so happy Jenn is having me on her blog. I’m Ana-Maria, baby, and kids holistic nutritionist and a picky eating coach.  For the last 4 years, I’ve been either pregnant, nursing or both at the same time, so needless to say that I’ve had to find gentler ways to help myself and my family during a cold or flu.

Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet is so important to be prepared to whip up some homemade remedies when the cold or flu strike.  Over the counter (OTC) medications are great at helping alleviate symptoms and they certainly have their place, but can nevertheless interfere with the immune system ability to fight off a cold.

And that’s where natural remedies come in.  You know, the kind that your grandma knew how to make!  There are many out there, but the good ones are designed to support the immune system in fighting the battle raging against those nasty bugs.

I like to do a mixture of using OTC and natural remedies to help me and the kids get over a cold mainly because they are both useful in their own ways but in this post, I’m sharing the 15 items you must have as part of my natural medicine cabinet.

While generally, a cold or the flu can be treated at home, there are some guidelines when you should seek a doctor’s help right away.  Keep this list handy for easy reference.

When to see the doctor during a cold or flu

  • Baby is under 3 months old with a fever of 101 / 38.3

  • Baby is under 6 months old with a fever greater than 103.5 / 39.7

  • A fever that does not respond to any efforts to be brought down including OTC medication

  • A fever that lasts more than 4 days

  • A fever greater than 103.5 / 39.7

  • Babies/child  seem unable to focus, limp, can’t make eye contact

  • Severe headache

  • Stiff neck or pain when trying to touch chin to the chest (this indicates possible meningitis)

  • Vomiting

  • A severe cough with chest pains or with difficulties breathing

  • Recurring sore throats

  • Any signs of dehydration (can’t drink any fluids, or not urinating regularly)

  • Coughing blood

  • If you have a sense that something is wrong

Here are your natural medicine cabinet must have supplies

Raw unpasteurized honey

Many studies show that raw honey is just as effective as cough syrup in comforting a sore throat.  That’s a huge win for me.  First of all, it’s a food, so you don’t have to worry about “dosages” per see. Actually, it’s the only food in the world that does not go “bad”.  Choose raw unpasteurized honey as still has all the beneficial bacteria that will help our bodies fight against any viruses or other harmful bacterias.  The only time you would want to be careful is to avoid giving honey to babies under 1 year old as there is a risk of botulism.  If you are using honey as part of your home remedies, I would also be careful with any toddler under the age of two just because the amounts can add up quickly.

Turmeric

Turmeric is the most well known and most research anti-inflammatory food. In a cold or flu, it helps protect our mucus membranes from being too irritated and form over producing mucus.  Too much mucus can get clogged up and breed even more bacteria.  We want to make juuuuust the right amount so that it can nicely flow out of our bodies carrying with it trapped viruses and bacteria.  Mix it with some honey to make a more palatable paste for the kiddos.

Garlic

Garlic has been most studied for it’s antiviral and antibacterial benefits.  It’s known to be effective against viruses, bacteria, yeasts, and funguses.  Combined with raw honey, it’s kind of like giving our immune system access to an unlimited army of troops to fight off that cold or flu.  It’s THAT helpful!

Ginger root

Ginger is also a must have food that can be super handy during a cold or flu.  It’s anti-inflammatory and while it’s best known to relax the digestive tract and relieve tummy upsets, it’s also a really good way to relieve some muscle achiness that sometimes comes along with a cold or flu.  The best way to use ginger root is to store it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks and peel and grate it when you are ready to use it.  Add it to your meals towards the end of the cooking time.  Or steep the root in boiled water for some homemade ginger tea.

Lemon

These little fruits are a high source of Vitamin C and antioxidants.  Not to get too sciency on you, but the colored part contains powerful antioxidants that help protect cell structure and DNA, which is exactly what our bodies need when fighting off a virus!  Most colds or flu are viruses.  They are pieces of inactive proteins, really DNA proteins, that make their way into our cells and hijack them.  

Onion

Did you know that the stronger onions smell (and the more they irritate our eyes) the more loaded they are with phytonutrients that are super health promoting?  I knew there had to be a reason to make it worth the tears everytime I cut one up!  Onions are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and an expectorant.  In Ayurveda, they are used as a poultice to loosen and break up hardened mucus.  You know how sometimes, we have that lingering hacking cough long after our cold seems to be gone?  An onions poultice is especially good for breaking up that last bit of stubborn mucus.

Cinnamon

This is one of my favorite spices to use as it’s so versatile flavor wise.  Cinnamon also has anti-microbial properties and mainly studied for its ability to stop bacterial and fungi growth.  So if you cold or flu is bacterial in nature, this will be so helpful.  Cinnamon is also anti-inflammatory and it’s warming smells and aroma are just so soothing during a winter cold.  You can simmer a cinnamon stick with some non-dairy milk and add honey for a delish warm drink.

Cayenne pepper

The hotness of this spice helps to thin out mucus and helps our body move it along.  Because our body uses mucus to protect our membranes and to trap bacteria or viruses, the last thing you want is to have thick mucus sticking around.  Cayenne pepper, help liquify it making it a great little spice to have on hand when we are congested.

Bone Broth

Many times when we are feeling under the weather, We don’t always feel like eating.  Our body is diverting resources away from our digestive system towards our immune system, so it’s perfectly normal to have a low appetite.  Sipping on warm bone broth or using it to make soups delivers a quick boost of nutrients without the heaviness of a meal.  Make some ahead of time and freeze it so you have it ready when you need it most.

Loose Teas

Teas are dried parts of plants that have very powerful properties to help our bodies.  Chamomile flowers, Lemon balm leaf, Echinacea, Elderberry or Elderflower are my favorites mainly because they work, but also because they are safe for babies to seniors. Remember how I was telling you earlier that a virus basically takes over our cells?  Our immune system already has its work cut out to destroy the infected cell.  Then our lymph and liver have to work extra long hours to get rid of any waste materials.  So this is one time, where I would recommend you buy organic loose herbs in bulk and store them in your home.  It’s much more affordable than buying a box of teas!

Essential Oils

Similarly to loose teas, essential oils are made from herbs.  The big difference is that they contain a concentrated amount of the compounds that have a wide variety of health benefits.  So it’s most important to treat them as medicine especially for the little ones under 2 years old.  Eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils are best known as decongestants.  They are so potent that it’s wise to avoid using them on young kids under 1 or even 2 years old unless you are comfortable calculating age-appropriate dosages.  Cypress, Pine, Fir Needle, Spruce, Thyme, Oregano, Tea Tree are all safe to use around kids over 3 months old.  I love to diffuse them at night to help keep noses from being plugged and in steam showers to really get the mucus flowing out the nose before bed.  

Diffuser

Did you ever notice how during the winter months, we tend to wake up with a dry mouth?  Or how we get crappy sleep because we have coughing fits in the middle of the night?  Even worst, your kids are having coughing fits in the middle of the night and no one sleeps! A diffuser is an amazing way to keep the nose and throat hydrated so that we can sleep a bit better.  A humidifier works well too, but I do prefer a diffuser because I can add a few drops of essential oils to help keep us breathing more freely through the night.  

Coconut Oil OR Almond Oil OR Olive Oil

I don’t think I ever came across anyone who did not get their backs and chests lathered in Vicks as a kid.  Is it hard to forget that smell right?  The fastest and easiest way I found to make a homemade version is to use a carrier oil like coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or apricot kernel oil and add a few drops of essential oil and apply to the chest, back and bottoms of feet to get some much needed decongesting relief.

Cotton Socks

I once made the mistake of washing my hair and going to sleep while I was smacked down in the middle of a cold.  This made for a terrible night’s sleep because just when I thought it was impossible to be more congested, things got more stuffed up there!  The remedy is to put on a pair of socks that was soaked in cold water then ringed them out.  Over the cotton socks, you would then put on a pair of wool socks and you’d simply go to sleep.  Your body will be busy sending blood to your feet to warm them up and dry them so your circulatory system is constantly moving.  This pulls blood away from your head and helps with symptoms like headaches, congestion, and even fevers.  By morning the socks will be dry and hopefully, you or the kids were able to get a few hours of much needed uninterrupted sleep.

Wool Socks

Okay, so these are using the same wet socks remedy as the cotton socks, but just in case you don’t own a pair, it’s a good idea to stock up on one pair for each member for the family.  The wet sock trick works well for kiddos and adults alike, so it’s a good remedy to have in your back pocket.  It’s especially helpful when the cold is at its peak and you so congested you can’t breathe properly through your nose.  For kids, it helps them sleep longer at night by keeping congestion under control and, it helps you get a good night sleep too!

Hopefully most of these items you’ll have in your kitchen so if a cold creeps up in your home, you’ll be ready to tackle it head-on.

Now if you'd like to take your natural medicine cabinet to the next level Jenn and I have put an amazing bundle together for you.  

I'd like to introduce you to Sniffles, Sneezes, and Stuffy Noses.  In the Sniffles, Sneezes and Stuffy Noses Bundle the same must-have items are used to share twelve home remedies to help boost your immune system and help your family through a cold or flu.  

We also talk about what you can do year-round to boost your immune systems and break down what to do during a cold or flu with getting well routines.

Instead of having a sick home every cold and flu season you can learn how to drastically reduce the amount of time your kids are home sick.  If you'd like to learn more about this amazing bundle, click the button below.

Inside this bundle you'll learn:

  • Understand how your immune system works to help fight off those nasty bugs quicker.
  • Know exactly when you need and don’t need to head to the doctor, clinic, or ER.
  • Strengthen your immune system year-round to fight off the sickness before it even happens.
  • Simple sick day routines for you, your kids (husbands included).
  • 12 simple remedies and recipes to help fight off the cold or flu with ingredients you probably have on hand right now.

Inside this bundle you'll receive:

  • Symptoms and routines pdf
  • When to see the doc pdf
  • Homemade remedies and recipes pdf
  • 4 how to instructional videos:
  • Understanding the immune system 
  • What to do before a cold or flu hits
  • What to do during a cold or flu 
  • What to do after a cold or flu  

So instead of having your children live with a 3-6 month runny nose, you can learn how to reduce symptoms to help keep your family healthy.

10 Things You Can Do In 20 Minutes That Will Save Your Day

If you are short on time then you need to check out this post.  Jenn shares 10 things you can do in 20-minutes that will save your day.  She also put a list of 20 things you can do in 20 minutes that you can download for free.  Click through to learn more!

All over the internet, I see promises to help you save time around the house or how you can lose weight in no time.  The problem with a lot of these posts is they really fall short on their promises or they just don't know what it's like in the real world.

Sure there is some AMAZING advice out there but again, will you have the time or the patience to actually accomplish what they say to do?

Inside this post, I'm sharing 10 things that you can do in 20 minutes that will save your day.  Each of the items or tasks that I included will take you 20 minute or less to complete. These 10 things are things that literally will save your day.  

I've also put together a pretty great bonus for you that you can grab at the end so stay tuned for that!  Or if you're like me and cannot wait for surprises you can download the bonus by clicking the button below.

Before I get into my list I want to explain why 20 minutes.  The thing about 20 minutes is I find that it's a doable amount of time to find in a day.  Most busy moms cannot find an hour out of their day or even 30 minutes sometimes.

20 minutes really is kind of an awkward amount of time.  If you are in between tasks, projects, or maybe before you have to pick a kid up you can't really start a project or even leave early.

So why not use your 20 minutes productively.

Which now brings me to my list of 10 things you can do in 20 minutes 

Organize unopened mail

Do you have a pile of unopened mail sitting around?  

This is a perfect time to sit down and sort the unopened mail.  If you have time you could even pay a bill or two.  Who knows!

If you are overwhelmed with the thought of going through the unopened mail and that's why it's sitting there let me give you a few tips!

Sort into 4 piles -- Bills, junk, "want to look at", and other.
The bills go to your bill pay station if you don't have one yet click here to read this post where I walk you through step-by-step how to put a bill pay station together.

The junk goes straight to the recycle bin or the shredder.  Don't open and go through the junk this will waste your valuable time.

The "want to look at" pile, this pile consists of magazines, cards, and other things you want to look at and read.

Other, this pile might consist of items that maybe your spouse need to take a look at or you just don't know what the heck it is.  If you don't know the put it aside.

Now that the pile of unopened mail is sorted you are probably feeling so much better.

sort mail.jpg

Clear off and clean the coffee table

The good ole' coffee table can be the dumping ground for everything.  Sippy cups, dirty fingerprints, toys, remotes, and magazines.  

When you have an extra 20 minutes (or really less in most cases) you can do a quick cleanup of the coffee table.  

I like to remove everything from the coffee table, grab my all-purpose cleaner with my microfiber cloth and give it a good disinfecting scrub then I'll wipe down the remotes, and anything else that might have been dirtied up.

Put everything that belongs on the coffee table back and put away everything that doesn't.  Your living room/family room will look cleaner and if it's during cold and flu season you've just helped disinfect your home.

Unload/reload the dishwasher and wipe down counters

Most of the time when we look at our kitchens we see a never-ending, time-consuming mess.  You know you spend all day trying to clean and then 5 minutes later boom a mess bomb went off in the room you just cleaned.

The key to having a clean home is maintenance.  And usually, messes don't take as long to clean up as we think it's going to.

One day I went into the kitchen.  The dishwasher was filled with clean dishes and the sink was again filled with dirty ones.  I thought it was going to take me forever to get through but no, I started my putting my teacup into the microwave for 90 seconds.

While my water was heating up I started unloading the dishwasher.

I was putting away the last item when the microwave finished warming my water up.

I added a teabag, allowed my tea to steep while I loaded the dishwasher.

The dishwasher was unloaded and reloaded in less than 5 minutes.

Now, take it one step further and wipe down the counters.  When you do this, the next time you walk into your kitchen you'll have a smile on your face because that's one less thing that you have to do.

Do 1 decluttering session

Now, if you aren't familiar with my declutter method I do recommend clicking here to learn my Declutter in 20 system.  In this post, I explain the system that I use and I also have The Declutter in 20 eBook for purchase here if you'd like to take it one step further.

But, if you find yourself with 20 minutes then why not find a small area and just go through it.

Again, click here to learn more about my 20-minute decluttering system.

Go through the fridge

This something that probably isn't done enough.  I like to do this once a week right before I head off to the grocery store.

There's nothing worse than thinking that you have an item just to see that it went bad and you didn't know because you just glanced in the fridge when you were creating your list.

So the next time you find yourself with 20 minutes, head over to the fridge and go through the food.  Toss all of the expired or moldy leftovers.

Your fridge will look clean, fresh, and you'll have a more efficient shopping trip.

Plan the weekly menu and shopping list

Now that your fridge is cleaned out why not create that weekly menu and shopping list.

If the thought of creating a menu plan is paralyzing, never fear you can click here to learn my meal planning system!  Inside that post, I walk you through the steps you can take to create a meal planning system you can do in no time.

Sort laundry and start a load

Laundry is a never-ending chore.  The best way to keep up on the laundry is doing a load as needed.  Some weeks I find myself doing 1-2 loads a day and others I'll do a load once every 3 days.

If you don't have the pre-sorting laundry bins then do a quick sort of the laundry and put a load in the washer.  It doesn't really take much time to do this.  And you'll be staying on top of the laundry.

If you do have one of those pre-sorting laundry bins then skip the first step and add a load of laundry to the washer.  Again allowing you to stay on top of the laundry.

Fold and put away 1 load of laundry

Really stay on top of the laundry by folding and putting 1 load of laundry away.  This might be one of the jobs that don't get done because it seems so overwhelming.

What I want you to do the next time there is 1 load of laundry to put away is set a timer and time yourself putting that load of laundry away.  

You'll be surprised by how little time it actually takes to complete.

Something that seems like it's going to take hours just takes minutes.  So if you have a few extra minutes try folding and putting 1 load of laundry away.

Clear the bathroom counter

I don't know about you but with daughters, this seems to be something that I need to do every day.  With hair products, hair brushes, combs, towels, blow dryers, and really the list can go on it seems that the bathroom is cluttered everytime I walk in there.

By clearing the counter and wiping it down it looks like my bathroom is clean and I can spend my time to do other things without the dread feeling every time I walk into that room.

Do 1 speed cleaning session

If you want the biggest impact with your 20 minutes maybe you need to do 1-speed cleaning session.  

If you'd like to learn more about the 20-minute speed cleaning session click here, I create a step by step post about that exact topic.

So that was a lot and maybe a little overwhelming.  You learned 10 things that you can do that only take 20 minutes, or less in many cases, that will save your day.  That is why I've put together a little free bonus for you.

The bonus I put together for you lists those 10 items plus I've added 10 more things that you can do.  So we are talking about 20 things that will take 20 minutes or less to do.  These 20 things will have a big impact on you and your home.

All you need to do is click the button below to download the free list.

20-minute checklist

Now I would love to know in the comments below what will you be trying the next time you find yourself with a little extra time?  Are there things in this post that I didn't include that should be?  Let me know in the comments below.

If you're inspired to implement this into your daily life and know of someone that would love this, you can easily share this post with them by clicking the share button to the left of this post.

I want to thank you so much for stopping by and spending your time with me!  Have an awesome day,

Jenn