Mommy Guilt…and why you should chuck it!

For some reason moms tend to feel a lot of guilt when it comes to their role as a mother.  I’m not a good enough mom, I’m not home enough, I yell too much, I don’t clean enough… on and on it goes.  Does this continual stream of guilt serve us?

mommy guiltQuite frankly, no.  I’m not saying that we shouldn’t evaluate ourselves and always strive for self-improvement.  One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou “When you know better, you do better.”  That’s true in motherhood too.  People say you should have “teaching moments” with your child where every experience is a learning opportunity, well it’s the same for us parents too.  You can learn so much from your child on what works, what doesn’t and how you can relate to them better each day.

Guilt, however, is a different story.  Guilt is a waste of time and energy if you do nothing with it.  Guilt is a warning bell that we feel if something is off or if we handled something poorly.  That’s a good thing, but to wallow in it just builds anxiety and depression.

You can do two things with guilt.  You can change your situation – i.e. learn from it and make improvements to change whatever is bothering you OR you can accept your situation.  Sometimes we can’t change the circumstances right away…or ever.  Perhaps you work long hours or maybe you need to manage your temper.  It can take time to change things like that so start working on them and accept the fact that it’s not going to be an overnight success.  It may be a circumstance in your life that will never change.  Maybe you got a divorce and it was really tough on the kids.  That’s not going to change, so accept that it happened and work on ways to make your kids feel loved and cherished through it.

Guilt’s purpose is to alert us, but beyond that it’s wasted time.  Time that could be better spent in more positive and constructive ways.  I’ll leave you with my absolute favorite quote about motherhood:

“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one”
Jill Churchill

Posted in Workin Women Wednesdays | 4 Comments

Easy Peasy Pot Roast!

You’ve got a lot going on and the last thing you want to be doing is spending an hour or more making dinner at night!  Quick Meal Mondays is all about quick and easy recipes that can be put together in 30 minutes or less, but they are still crowd pleasers!!  Some will be healthy, some will be decadent but all of them will be quick, easy and delicious!

If you want to submit a quick & delish recipe to share please email me at info@teaganandmack.com.  You will, of course, get credit on my blog for your meal!

This week’s meal is a delicious pot roast and it is so easy!!

meals under 30 minutesIngredients

  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 5 1/2 pounds pot roast

Directions

  1. In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.
  2. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

Let me know if you made it and what you thought in the comments.

Have a 30 min or under tasty recipe you want to share?  Email me at info@teaganandmack.com!

Posted in Quick Meal Mondays | Leave a comment

Pasta with Turkey Marina Sauce

You’ve got a lot going on and the last thing you want to be doing is spending an hour or more making dinner at night!  Quick Meal Mondays is all about quick and easy recipes that can be put together in 30 minutes or less, but they are still crowd pleasers!!  Some will be healthy, some will be decadent but all of them will be quick, easy and delicious!

If you want to submit a quick & delish recipe to share please email me at info@teaganandmack.com.  You will, of course, get credit on my blog for your meal!

This week’s meal is good old spaghetti and meat sauce!  The sauce is one that my husband and I created after a few different experiments.  It’s really easy, very healthy and very tasty!

quick meal recipesIngredients

  • 1 lb of ground turkey meat
  • 1 small sweet onion (or 1/2 of a medium sized) – chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 – 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of Basil
  • 1 tablespoon of Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of Rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • whole wheat pasta of your choice (you can use the white stuff if you want to!)

Directions

  1. Put your pot of water (for the pasta) on the stove to boil.  If you leave this until the sauce is done you lose about 10 minutes!
  2. Heat up a large frying pan with some olive oil in it and cook your onions and garlic until soft – about 5 minutes
  3. Add the turkey meat, mix together and cook until the meat is no longer pink
  4. Add can of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste (yes I use the whole can of paste, it’s really good for you and makes your sauce nice and thick!)
  5. Stir until evenly mixed.  Add your herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir and you’re done!  Tip: If you keep the sauce simmering on the stove for at least 10 minutes the flavors will really mix through the sauce and make it even more tasty.
  7. Prepare pasta according to package directions while the sauce is cooking.
  8. Serve with sauce on top of the pasta with a little Parmesan cheese.

Let me know if you made it and what you thought in the comments.

Have a 30 min or under tasty recipe you want to share?  Email me at info@teaganandmack.com!

Posted in Quick Meal Mondays | Leave a comment

Do This One Thing to Get Your Kids Eating Right, More Connected To You and Lessen Their Attraction to Negative Influences!

Can one thing really accomplish all of this?  One magic action that will make your kids stronger and healthier both physically and emotionally?

Believe it or not, YES.  It’s the family meal.  Studies show that the power of eating together as a family is so much more than just sharing some time together!

the family meal photoWhat do these studies say?  The vast majority of kids who have 7 or more family meals together a week, will eat more fruits and vegetables, will be less likely to be overweight which also puts them at a lower risk for health problems.

They have been shown to get better grades in school and both studies done with The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) and The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine show a correlation between family dinners and children who are more likely to stay away from smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and abusing drugs!

Now that’s some power!  Most of the studies have come from the University of Minnesota, Harvard and Rutgers. They have looked at the family eating habits of nearly 40,000 middle-school students and teenagers.  What they show is that it is all about the “togetherness” that makes the difference.  There doesn’t seem to be much of an effect if the families were watching TV or not watching TV, whether the meal was breakfast or dinner, if they were at home or at a restaurant – just as long as they did it together!

So if you’re not already, plan on spending more family meals together and harness this power!  To make life easier on yourself, check our our Quick Meal Mondays category for recipe ideas!

What kind of ways have you found to get more family togetherness in your lives?  Share with us in the comments!

Posted in Family Fridays | 2 Comments

10 Ways for Working Moms to Find Balance in their Day

Balancing work and motherhood can be a tough act.  It is possible, however, to strike a balance and do both with excellence.

Here are 10 tips (plus one bonus!) to help you manage your time between work and family.

balancing work and kids photo

  1. Set boundaries for yourself. When you’re at work, really be there mentally.  When you’re with the kids, be present with them.  This will actually alleviate a lot of stress for you.
  2. Write down your goals & tasks for the day and cross them off as you accomplish them. It feels great to be getting things done!  One thing to note – make sure your goals and tasks are achievable so as not to discourage yourself.
  3. Finish one thing before starting the next. As moms we are masters at multi-tasking.  It’s been proven, however, that multi-tasking is not all it was once cracked up to be.  Don’t try to do too many things at once, you’ll just wind up doing a lot of things not very well.  If you have a big task to accomplish break it up into smaller chunks that are manageable.
  4. Stay Focused! Don’t get caught up on tasks and work that have nothing to do with what you need to accomplish for the day.
  5. Prioritize and say no! Go over your daily goals/tasks list and prioritize it.  Make sure to do the critical ones first and if you have to say no to the last couple of tasks then that’s ok.
  6. Track your time wasters. Take an honest look at your day and assess where time slipped through your fingers with activities that did nothing to enhance your work or family life.
  7. No procrastinating! If you keep rolling tasks over to the next day they need to jump up the priority list and get done!  Procrastinating causes a lot of stress as you constantly having unending tasks hanging over your head.
  8. Outsource, delegate, get rid of it! If you can hand off something to someone else then do it.  Don’t try to conquer the world in 8 hours flat.
  9. Create a schedule for yourself, review it at the end of the week and tweak it as necessary. A great tip I got a long time ago was to make appointments with myself.  It can be something work related, it can be exercise, it can be taking the kids to the park – the point is that if it’s on the calendar, you’re more apt to keep it.  You wouldn’t blow off a client, don’t blow yourself off either.  The trick to making this work is being flexible, if the schedule doesn’t work for you tweak it until it does.
  10. Be kind to yourself - I don’t care what anyone says, work/life/family balance is tough.  Some women may give you the appearance that they’ve got it all together and it’s a breeze.  It’s not.  There will be times when things will flow and balance is floating all around you and there will be times when it all gets thrown out of whack.  That’s life.  Don’t punish yourself for it, just jump back on the wagon and say “tomorrow will be a better day.”

BONUS:  Take a break! Seriously, give yourself little five minute breaks throughout the day.  You’ll relax and be more efficient when you get back to work.  Have a cup of tea, take a walk around the block, whatever works for you.  You deserve it!

How do you find balance between work and family?  Share your tips with us in the comments!

Posted in Workin Women Wednesdays | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit of your House

energy audit photoHave you wondered if you could lower your monthly utility bills but don’t know where to begin?  You can do an energy audit in your own home to see if there are areas where you are wasting precious dollars!

The U.S. Department of Energy has a checklist for you to use as you walk through your house so that you know what to look for.

Check out their website to find helpful tips on keeping your energy consumption as efficient as possible!

Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Assessments

Posted in Green Tip Tuesdays | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Farmer’s Breakfast!

You’ve got a lot going on and the last thing you want to be doing is spending an hour or more making dinner at night!  Quick Meal Mondays is all about quick and easy recipes that can be put together in 30 minutes or less, but they are still crowd pleasers!!  Some will be healthy, some will be decadent but all of them will be quick, easy and delicious!

If you want to submit a quick & delish recipe to share please email me at info@teaganandmack.com.  You will, of course, get credit on my blog for your meal!

This week’s meal is for breakfast!!!  A traditional “farmer’s breakfast” and it is delicious.  There is a trick to it though – to keep this meal under 30 minutes you need to prepare the potatoes the night before. Here’s what I recommend – Make the potatoes a side dish for dinner the night before.  Make more than you need.  Then the next morning you just throw them in the mix and it’s a quick and delicious weekend breakfast!  I wouldn’t attempt this one as you’re trying to get the kids out the door for school!

Ingredients30 minute meals photo

  • 5 eggs
  • 3 small to medium sized potatoes (should be about 2 cups when cooked and chopped)  You can tailor the amount used to what you like – I like a good amount of potatoes!
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon (can substitute for any kind you like)
  • 1/2 cup shredded partially skim mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • salsa or hot sauce (optional)

Directions

  1. To save on time, prepare the potatoes the night before.  Microwave potatoes until they are cooked (10-15 minutes, depending on the microwave), chop them into small bite sized pieces and pan fry in olive oil until they are a nice golden brown color.  Add salt and pepper to season the potatoes.

    30 minute recipes photo30 minute recipes photo

  2. Cook four bacon slices until crisp.  You can either pan fry them or microwave.  Then chop or crumble the bacon into pieces.
    30 minute meals photo
  3. Beat eggs together with a fork, add milk to make fluffier eggs.  Cook eggs in a pan (scramble style) until they are half cooked.  They should be starting to take shape but still be runny.  Combine eggs, potatoes and bacon, stir and cook until eggs are fully cooked.  If you cook the eggs fully before combining they won’t mix together properly.
  4. Add cheese to the scramble, stir until it’s all mixed together and serve!
    30 minute meals photo
  5. You can add salsa or hot sauce on top for a delicious option.

WARNING:  When I served this to my two year old for the first time she immediately yelled “I don’t like farmer’s breakfast!”  Once I explained to her that it was eggs and bacon (two things she loves) I got her to take a bite…she ate it all up and asked for seconds!  It doesn’t look pretty to kids, but they do like the taste if you can get them to try it. :)   Don’t add too much pepper if you’re serving kids.

Let me know if you made it and what you thought in the comments.

Have a 30 min or under tasty recipe you want to share?  Email me at info@teaganandmack.com!

Posted in Quick Meal Mondays | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What To Do When a Loved One Is In Pain

support for a friend in needWhat do you do when a family member or a close friend is in pain, I mean really suffering, and there is nothing you can do to change their situation?

I find myself in this place where my heart breaks for my friend but I am helpless in making any kind of difference in her circumstances.

Here’s what I know, however, it’s that when someone reaches out to you because they trust you, they are not looking to you to fix the problem.  They are just looking for a safe place to land and get support and encouragement.

You can’t change their reality, but you can remind them of all the things you love and admire about them.  Their strength, their courage, their resilience.  You can tell them how much you care about them and that you know they will come out of it, or get through it and be even stronger because of it.  You can just listen while they cry and let them know you are deeply sorry they have to go through it, that you will be there for them whenever they need to let down.

That’s what true love is, in my opinion.  A friend or family member who can be trusted, who never judges, who listens and who reminds them of the incredible person they really are.

Have you found yourself in a similar situation?  What have you done to help someone in need?

Posted in Family Fridays | Leave a comment

Get life back in balance with this simple tip…

It’s Workin’ Women Wednesdays and today I thought I would share an exercise with you on how to evaluate where your time is currently being spent and compare it against your ideal goal of how you WANT to be spending your time!

Life gets busy and if we don’t stop once in a while and review what we’re doing it can get out of balance pretty quickly.

First, write down different categories that encompass where your time is being spent.  Then based on the number of hours you are awake in the day, figure out the percentage of time spent in each category.  So it would look something like this:

balance scales photosFamily – 30%
Work – 30%
Personal Development (exercise, nurturing yourself, spiritual, etc) – 20%
Social – 10%
Household Chores/Errands, etc – 10%

Everyone’s list will be different so choose categories that describe your life and be honest!  That’s the most important part of this exercise.  Then write down what your core values are.  The things in life that REALLY matter to you.  Look at where your time is currently being spent – does it relate to your core values?  Then think about where you want your life to be – where you truly want to be spending your time and rework the numbers and categories as necessary.  When you find that you are doing things that don’t align with your new model then stop them and replace them with tasks that do.

Let me know what you do to get life back into balance by posting in the comments!

Thanks to my business coach Brian Tsuchiya of Startup Guru for this great exercise!

Posted in Workin Women Wednesdays | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eco Friendly Cleaners On The Cheap!

Make your own cleaners photoGreen Tip Tuesdays is always about a quick tip that can help you to go a little greener.  Today I thought I would talk to you about cleaning products.  There are so many toxins in cleaning products it’s frightening.  It’s not just about what we are spraying and wiping throughout our own homes, however,  it’s also about what happens to those cleaning products when you’re done with them (i.e. they get washed down the drain).  This is really detrimental for the environment and for our own general health.

So what is the alternative?  Well you can of course find eco-friendly cleaning products in the stores and those are great, I use them myself.  Some work better than others so you may need to experiment to find the ones you like.

Another option, however, is to make your own!  You can use common household items to create your very own cleaning products.  Here’s the basics from Eco Cycle:

  1. Baking Soda – Cleans and deodorizes. Softens water to increase sudsing and cleaning power of soap. Good scouring powder.
  2. Borax – Cleans and deodorizes. Excellent disinfectant. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store.
  3. Soap – Biodegrades safely and completely and is non-toxic. Available in grocery stores and health food stores. Sold as liquid, flakes, powder or in bars. Bars can be grated to dissolve more easily in hot water. Insist on soap without synthetic scents, colors or other additives.
  4. Washing Soda – Cuts grease and removes stains. Disinfects. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store or in pure form from chemical supply houses as “sodium carbonate.”
  5. White Vinegar or Lemon Juice – Cuts grease and freshens.

Ok, so what do you do with these products?  Well check out the huge list that Eco Cycle has published.  They provide recipes for every task and every room in the house!

Posted in Green Tip Tuesdays | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment