Productivity Inspiration for This Spring

Productivity Inspiration for This Spring

Spring motivates me to get things done. I think it’s the return of the sun. Whatever it is, I’m glad! These are six sources of inspiration for me now. To receive the fabulous, time-sensitive sanity savers that I share with friends, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter.

#1 Spring bucket list

Spring bucket list







Bucket lists inspire me to do the things that matter most. I love this bucket list that is part of The Organized Homeschool Life Planner, now shipping in print to the US. Grab your copy of the bucket list (no opt-in required) and start adding activities like planting flowers, visiting a botanical garden, a zoo trip, flying a kite, or nature walks.

#2 Spring cleaning with the Lazy Genius podcast

Spring cleaning is one of the challenges in The Organized Homeschool Life. If we take a perfectionist approach, we’re sunk. We’ll quit before we start. But we can do it with the Lazy Genius’s approach to cleaning the house. Give it a listen!

#3 Focus and concentrate with James Clear

It’s no use planning multiple tasks for this spring if we haven’t learned how to focus. James Clear has you covered for tips on developing your concentration muscles. 🙂

#4 Tame your to-do list

It’s demoralizing to never finish your list. That’s why there is room for just three main priorities and three other tasks per day in The Organized Homeschool Life planner. Read Forbes’s to-do list tips to get your list under control.

#5 The Hidden Art of Homemaking

Most of my readers are homeschooling mothers. Some of them left careers behind to homeschool. But we don’t have to leave our skills and talents behind. This classic book will give you a fresh perspective on your calling at home.

#6 A Million Little Ways

Emily Freeman’s book is a new look on this topic that can make work seem like play. And isn’t that what we all need this spring?

Want more productiviy inspiration? Check out the last list of sanity savers here.

What’s on your spring bucket list? Comment and let me know.

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Productivity Inspiration Sanity Savers

Productivity Inspiration Sanity Savers

Sometimes it isn’t about a new app to increase your productivity. Sometimes we just need a little shot of inspiration. That’s what this week’s list of sanity savers is all about. To get access to time-limited sanity savers, be sure to subscribe.

Productivity Inspiration Sanity Savers

#1 Live to your potential

I’m a fan of Jordan Peterson’s and this video about how much time we waste and how we could live instead is worth watching and rewatching.

#2 Making Oprah podcast

Oprah Winfrey is one of the people featured in the above video as living their potential. Whatever you think of her philosophy on life, you have to admit that her accomplishments are amazing. I listened to the short-series Making Oprah podcast about her rise to fame and was particularly moved by episode #3, which discusses the famous car giveaway episode. She insisted that the giveaway have intention. I want to live with intention too.

#3 Next Right Thing podcast

A friend in our HomeschoolScopes group gave me this tip about the Next Right Thing podcast. The focus on just doing the next right thing is what I need. The host’s voice is soothing, like a friend who’s a counselor.

#4 Brilliant Business Mom podcast

If you have a blog or business, you’ll love the Brilliant Business Mom podcast. My favorite episodes are interviews with moms who have succeeded as entrepreneurs. The podcast inspires me to persevere as a business woman.

#5 Pre-Game Routine

James Clear describes a pre-game routine as how we can get motivated to do important things: start the homeschool day, write your book, or manage your finances. In reading it I realized that I often change my routine, making it difficult to enjoy the motivational benefits.

How to Get Motivated When You Don’t Feel Like It

#6 Christian Zumba

In thinking about a pre-game routine, I remembered that exercise used to be mine. I worked out before starting my writing for the day. Now I’m working out in the afternoons with my daughter and my pre-game routine has been willy nilly. I tried ReFit at a women’s retreat recently and enjoyed it. I tried doing these dance exercises to Christian music before I started my writing routine and it worked! I did another song after my writing session to get the blood pumping again. This is something you could do with the kids.

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Inspiration Sanity Savers

Inspiration Sanity Savers

It’s January as I write and I’m in need of inspiration. Inspiration can get me out of bed on a cold morning and keep me going through a dreary afternoon. These are the things that are inspiring me now.

If you want access to time-sensitive sanity savers, become a subscriber

Inspiration Sanity Savers

#1 The Organized Homeschool Life Planner and Group

I would have created this planner if only I were planning to use it. It has been so inspiring for me to complete my weekly review and my daily planning pages.

Instructions for The Organized Homeschool Life Planner

I can’t wait to get my bound planners and to get them sent out to homeschoolers who wanted the print version. I have the custom-designed holiday stickers in my hands, ready to ship. They are now available for purchase for digital customers. I found the perfect Today bookmark for the planner that I shared on Instagram. I am also loving The Organized Homeschool Life group on Facebook. It provides a place for me to share daily inspiration for our organizing journey as I find it. We would love to have you join us.




#2 The Body for Life Success Journal

I completed a Body for Life Challenge years ago and loved the energy I had and feeling like I was in top physical condition. My workout intensity has slipped in recent years as has my nutrition. I decided I wanted to do another challenge and my daughter decided to join me. It’s so inspiring to have someone take a challenge with you.

What I love about this journal is that there is an inspirational story each day and an encouragement to review your goals each day. Reviewing your goals and your why regularly WORKS. That’s why I included this in the weekly portion of The Organized Homeschool Life Planner. For best results, I recommend reviewing your why daily!

#3 A 55-Year-Old Body Builder

This woman went from looking like a matronly teacher to a competitive body builder in about two years. Her before-and-after pictures in the middle of this post are incredible! She demonstrates what is possible if we persevere. If you want more fitness inspiration from women over 50, check out my post here.

#4 This Time Next Year

I found the new show, This Time Next Year, to be inspiring. The show introduces someone who states a goal to be achieved in a year. You immediately see them a year later and hear about their journey. The first episode had another woman who became a competitive body builder in a year, but the goals aren’t all fitness based. One couple wanted to have a baby and their story was very touching.

#5 Anti-Procrastination Inspiration

I’ve been procrastinating lately. I have all sorts of excuses for why, but I won’t waste your time. Instead, I’ll recommend you watch this video by Jordan Peterson that will inspire you to stop procrastinating. It helped me!

#6 What It Feels Like to Be an Old Lady

When you’re 50, you start thinking about being old. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, this video clip of June Hunt describing what it feels like to be old as a Christian is a blessing and a comfort to me. I hope it is for you too.

What is inspiring you lately? Please share in the comments.

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My Favorite Sanity Saving Books from the Last Year

My Favorite Sanity Saving Books from the Last Year

This week I’m sharing my favorite sanity-saving books from the past year. I’m a sucker for nonfiction and if it changes my life? All the better. Remember that if you want all the time-sensitive sanity savers too, you’ll need to subscribe.

My Favorite Sanity Saving Books

#1 Sidetracked in the Wilderness by Michael Wells

I read this book by the late Michael Wells and discovered that I was trying to live like Jesus instead of letting Jesus live through me. I can tell you that it’s exhausting to try to live like Jesus. If you read one book this year, this should be it, in my opinion. I wrote Homeschooling Where Strivings cease in response.

#2 My Weakness for His Strength by Michael Wells

I wanted more of Michael Wells’s grace-affirming writing and I found it in this devotional. I love these devotions so much that I alternate between reading several at once and saving them because I can’t bear to finish the book. I am so thrilled that there is another volume. These devotions remind me of one of the best sermons I heard at church this year, on New Year’s Eve. Essentially, the message was I didn’t have to change. I was already loved. The change had already been made — not by me but by Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Hallelujah! That’s worth celebrating for this woman who is always trying to be better in her own strength, for all the wrong reasons.

#3 Deep Work by Cal Newport

I owned Deep Work on Kindle for a very long time and didn’t make time to read it. The irony. I got the audiobook and devoured it between working out and getting ready in the mornings. The book doesn’t tell you what your deep work is. In other words, if you’re a blogger, finding content that could go viral on social media may be deep work for you. Instead, deep work is important work that requires focus. The book both inspires us to pursue deep work and makes suggestions for finishing it for lots of different styles. I love the idea of going away to write, but most likely my deep work will happen in the mornings before the kids are up.

#4 Overwhelmed by Kathy Lipp and Cheri Gregory

Overwhelmed is another book I listened to in audio. I loved it. It’s not only helpful but hilarious. The narrator’s comic timing is wonderful. I wasn’t that overwhelmed when I listened to the book. What I appreciated most were the get-real stories from the two women in the book. They battled signing up for too much, difficult people, humiliation and more. A godly perspective with plenty of humor helps the listener feel like she can survive just about anything. Highly recommended.

#5 Mini Habits by Stephen Guise

I’ve written about how mini habits have changed my life and can change your homeschool. But this audiobook is a great listen as you exercise or get ready for the day. You’ll be inspired by what you can accomplish this year, one tiny step at a time.

#6 Work Clean by Dan Charnas

I’m recommending this book even though I haven’t finished it yet. It is not only a fascinating look inside a chef’s world but an uber-inspiring manual for becoming more productive in your life and work. I plan to write about how to apply the principles to homeschooling. In the meantime, I am lining up my toiletries in the morning, mise-en-place style!

#7 Organize Tomorrow Today by Jason Selk, Tom Bartow, and Matthew Rudy

Organize Tomorrow Today is like having a coach in a book. The chapters are chock full of inspiring real-life examples of achievement and a practical exercise. I incorporated some of its excellent principles into my Organized Homeschool Life planner.

Which of these books interests you most?

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Sanity Savers for a Whole New You

Sanity Savers for a Whole New You

I have been sharing sanity savers that my subscribers love for a long time. As I go about my daily living, when I discover something that makes life easier, I share it — just like I do with my local friends and family. I decided it was time to share sanity savers that aren’t time-limited with everyone. What does that mean? Some of my best sanity savers are free, discounted, or available for a limited time. If you’d like access to those codes and resources, you’ll need to become a subscriber (aka friend). It’s free, easy, and tailored to you. Click here to get started.

Sanity Savers for a Whole New You #goals #newyears

I absolutely love this time of year. I have time to slow down and make a fresh start. I can make changes that will make me better. That’s what this week’s sanity savers are all about.

#1 A New Bra

It’s been at least eight years since I bought new bras. That is crazy. Bra shopping isn’t my favorite, but I decided it was high time I replaced my bras. The elastic had long since given up. I decided on this Lilyette bra from Amazon. It is a minimizer bra that I need and I purchased one to make sure I liked it. Oh my word. Ladies, I look younger in this bra! The girls no longer look like they’ve given up the fight. I had no idea my old bras were aging me, but they were. I bought multiples of it. The price is so reasonable, making replacement of the lot of them easy.

Thrive Causemetics mascara







#2 New Mascara

I had no idea my bras were aging me and I had no idea how to fix a years-long problem of makeup smears under my eyes. I tried numerous eyeliners that were supposed to stay in place, but not one of them worked. I was forced to constantly check my makeup before doing pictures, live broadcasts, or social functions. I took to just wiping under my eyes constantly because I knew my eyeliner had smeared without looking. I saw a Facebook ad for Thrive Causemetics eyeliner that wasn’t supposed to smear. In addition, each purchase would mean makeup would be donated to a needy woman. I liked that. I added a yet-to-be released mascara to my order as well.

My eyeliner arrived first. I was disappointed that I had the same old makeup smears under my eyes. I was ready to just accept that there was something funky about my eyes that made this inevitable. The mascara arrived later and I tried it. I liked it, but I didn’t think it was significantly better than the mascara I was already using. And then something remarkable happened. I no longer had makeup smeared under my eyes. For years I had assumed that my eyeliner was smearing when all along it was the mascara on my lower lashes. This mascara does NOT smear. I’ll be using it exclusively from now on. If you’d like to try it, you can use this link to save $10 on your order. I’ll get a credit to use too. I learned that I’m often chasing my tail when it comes to solving problems.

#3 7 Minute Workout

Short workouts can put you on the path to fitness this year. The 7 Minute Workout App is another tool for you to stay motivated. Lack of time is no longer an excuse. This app offers a complete workout that can wake you up in the morning or keep you going in the afternoon. I love that I can listen to my own music while I do it and go at my own pace. There are many testimonials on how this app has allowed people to lose weight too.

Get2Fit Journal







#4 Fitness Journal

Speaking of fitness, planning your workouts and tracking them is a research-backed strategy for reaching your fitness goals. New mom, Kathy Gossen, has created the perfect fitness journal for tracking your way to a whole new you. It’s called the Get2Fit Journal. You have space to track nutrition as well as place to journal, which I’m a huge fan of. Watch my interview with Kathy for even more fitness motivation.

Blessed Life Planner

#5 Blessed Life Planner

Can you have too many planners? I don’t think so! What I love about the new Blessed Life Planner in dated and undated versions is it’s a place to keep your spiritual life organized. The first and most popular challenge of The Organized Homeschool Life is to organize devotional time. This beautiful planner makes that possible with space for prayers, gratitude, your mission statement, plus encouraging Scriptures and of course, a place to plan other to-do’s.

#6 The To-Do List Formula

Speaking of to-do’s, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed by them, isn’t it? I recently read The To-Do List Formula and loved it. I especially loved the advice to make the number of tasks on your list completable for the day. If you need help managing your to-do list, this book is a winner.

What are you doing to create a whole new you this year? Comment and let me know.

Remember: to get exclusive subscriber discounts and freebies, click here.

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Holiday Bake Hop: Oreo Truffles

Holiday Bake Hop: Oreo Truffles

I’m all about sanity, especially when it comes to the Christmas season. I don’t make fancy food and guess what? People love my simple recipes.

My recipe for Oreo Truffles is no exception. I don’t make them as gifts because in a family of eight, they disappear almost as quickly as I make them. Whether you serve them to your family or wrap them up as gifts, they’re sure to be a hit.
Oreo Truffles Recipe: Great Christmas Gift

Oreo Truffles Recipe


1 package of Oreos (or a generic brand of similar cookies to save money)

1 package of cream cheese, softened

2/3 package of chocolate almond bark


Process the entire package of Oreos in a food processor with the regular blade attachment until it’s crumbly. Add the cream cheese and process again until the mixture forms a ball. Put the mixture into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes. Melt almond bark in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring a few times before it’s completely melted. Form the chilled dough into quarter-sized balls. Drop into melted chocolate, rolling with a spoon until covered. Lift the truffle out with a spoon, tapping the spoon to remove excess chocolate. Roll truffle onto a wax-paper covered cookie sheet. Store completed truffles in the refrigerator. Use a knife to trim truffles to make them prettier…if they last long enough.

You can package them as a gift in boxes like these.


Have you seen my other crazy easy recipes?

Be sure to check out the other great recipes at the Holiday Bake Hop at Our Thrifty Home.

Holiday Bake Hop: Our Thrifty Home

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