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Meal Planning Made Simple

Meal Planninf Made SimpleBy Holly Reisem Hanna

I’ll admit it, I struggle with meal planning. So much so, that my family often eats cereal for dinner. I know that I’m not alone in this daily struggle of what to make for dinner — because of conversations I’ve had with friends, family, and colleagues.

Like so many other women, I’m busy with being a mom, running a business, managing a household, and trying to stay on top of my never ending to-do list, that meal planning often falls to the wayside. Yes, I know the tips and tricks for meal planning, as well as the various services available; yet I still haven’t found one that works well with my schedule and budget.

Well, I finally found something that works … and thank goodness, because my mother-in-law came in town for a surprise visit this past month!

It’s the Tastefully Simple Tonight Collection Spring-Summer 2014. This meal planning kit gives you all the spices, sauces, recipes, freezer labels, even a shopping list that you’ll need to make ten yummy recipes. You can choose to prep the meals and put them in your freezer for busy weeknights or can make them as you go. I chose to do a little of both.

With the handy shopping list, I purchased all of the necessary ingredients to make the meals. Next I decided which recipes I’d make for the week and which ones I’d freeze for the weeks to come. (more…)

7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Work Day

7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Work DayBy Kim George

Starting and managing a small business isn’t easy — there are so many things to do, but we have so little time. To get the most out of your work day, and ensure your business’ continuous growth, here are a few tips …

1. Have a Plan

A proverb says “He who is well prepared has won half the battle.” So before you start your work day, sit and jot down all the tasks you need and want to finish. List them by priority, and, if there are tasks that must be done at a specific time, write that down, too.

2. Start Your Day as Early as You Can

The early bird always catches the worm. If you wake up and start working early, you will be able to get a lot more things done. Remember that most people are at their peak of their productiveness within only the earlier few hours of the day. Take advantage of that fact: get up early and finish tasks faster.

3. Delegate Tasks

You don’t need and shouldn’t try to do everything by yourself. Not only will that consume a lot of your time, but there’s a chance that the quality of your work will deteriorate as more time passes by. Assign the smaller, repetitive tasks to your office or virtual assistant to save time and earn more. (more…)

6 Tools to Bridge the Gap Between Your Personal and Professional Lives

6 Tools to Bridge the Gap Between Your Personal and Professional LivesBy Trish Morrison

I’m constantly looking for ways to streamline my workflow and manage my personal obligations. By working for myself at home, these two worlds often collide. While there are many online and mobile apps that claim to help you make it through your work day, I’ve relied on six that work well for both my personal and professional lives.

1.  Google Calendar

I know it seems obvious but I’ve found that many people still do not take full advantage of everything that Google has to offer the small business owner – for free! Once you start down that Google rabbit hole, you probably won’t want to go back. I use many Google products but my number one Google tool is the calendar.

Managing multiple calendars online is a necessity for me. From my work schedule, to events, to our daughter’s school activities and my husband’s work schedule, life would get complicated without separate calendars that I can easily access and review. It’s also easy to use the invite option to schedule everyone for meetings, birthday parties and work functions. (more…)

The Balancing Act: Small Business Owner by Day, Mother 24/7

The Balancing Act: Small Business Owner by Day, Mother 24/7By Amber Schmechel

It’s been said that owning a small business is a lot like parenting a toddler. You must keep an eye on them every second – OR ELSE. So how do you do that? How can you, a mompreneur, nurture both your business baby and your real-life babies?

Below are a few tips to keep in mind …  and keep you sane.

#1. Prioritize like your life depends on it — because it does.

You know that woman with the perfect life? You don’t? That’s probably because she doesn’t exist. There’s no such thing as the perfect mom or entrepreneur – unless you define “perfect” on your own terms. As women today, our opportunities seem virtually limitless. Unfortunately, the downside to all those choices is that we often feel confused, overwhelmed and under enormous pressure. Just because we can do anything doesn’t mean we need to. (more…)

Do You Ever Leave Your Comfort Zone?

Do You Ever Leave Your Comfort Zone?By Dawn Berryman

As a work at home woman, do you ever leave your comfort zone? Do you have a schedule or daily routine for your business or for your job that you don’t deviate from? Have you ever thought about changing it up to see how it could positively affect your productivity or your bottom line?

Here are five simple things that you could try that just might enhance your day.

1. Get up earlier.

Do you typically wait until your kids are at school to begin your work day? Do you take care of household related tasks before tackling your work day? I am not a morning person, so I know many of you may be rolling your eyes right now, but getting up a little earlier could have a dramatic effect. You could rise 30 minutes before your kids and check your e-mail, get a jump start on a project, do a little yoga, or even just enjoy a cup of coffee alone. All of these things can set the tone for a productive, energized day. Just 30 minutes could make a difference and allow you to start the day on a positive, more relaxed note.

2. Take a break.

How can taking a break improve your productivity? Everyone needs a break now and then. When working at home this sometimes gets lost. It can be good to schedule one or two short breaks throughout your day. Use them to actually take a break. Get out of your home office and take a walk around the block or spend a few minutes playing with your pet. Regularly scheduled breaks can clear your mind and get you prepared for the next task at hand. (more…)

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