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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Great Christian Homeschooler Christmas Gift Ideas & Giveaway

Great Christian Homeschooler Christmas Gift Ideas & Giveaway

At this time of year, I wish I were Oprah and could afford to give all my readers my favorite things for Christmas. While I can’t do that, I’m thrilled that I’ve been given some amazing gifts to pass on, many of them from 2 to 1 Conference Sponsors. If you’re a homeschooler involved in social media, I hope you’ll join me at 2 to 1 in October, 2016!

I am also purchasing a few of these gifts to bless a couple of my readers. I encourage you to enter for a chance to win the gifts in both giveaways, but to purchase them as well. If you win, some of your Christmas shopping is done! Would you like to hear more about these great gifts? Scroll down to see the Periscope video where I share more.


Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Christian Homeschoolers & Giveaway

Great Gifts for Homeschoolers


Ultimate Homeschool Planner

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner

I am all about sanity for homeschoolers and there’s nothing like a planner to organize you and give you peace of mind. This comprehensive planner by Debra Bell is flexible enough to be used with any kind of homeschooling approach for up to six kids. My favorite aspect of the planner is that you’re encouraged to plan spiritually and to reflect on God’s grace to you throughout the week. Another huge plus is space to record the little victories! The planner was a gift from Apologia. I know you’ll love it! But if you want to make this an even better gift for yourself, ask for a night away to do some planning for the new year.

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal

The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal

You can make any field trip you take this year that much more educational with this journal. Your kids will write about the story of their day and what they want to remember. But there are also spaces for specific field trips like state and seasonal trips. You don’t have to use Apologia Science to enjoy this journal.  You could add a certificate to this promising a fun field trip. We have used a Groupon for rock climbing as a gift–a big hit! The journal is also a gift from Apologia.
DIY Homeschool Reading Curriculum

Kids’ Reading Journal

Speaking of journals, if you’d like your kids to document their reading and learn more about literature at the same time, you’ll love the Kids’ Reading Journal. It’s so cute that once again, I want to write in it! Even better, it doesn’t bore kids by requiring the same journaling every day and it uses short entries that don’t overwhelm kids. Add a set of great books as a gift for young readers. The journal is a gift from Kim Sorgius of



20th Century Music Appreciation curriculum
21 Lessons in 20th Century American Music Appreciation Black Friday/ Cyber Monday $10 off sale

21 Lessons in 21st Century Music Appreciation

I’ve raved about this curriculum before. The truth is that I don’t care as much about my kids learning about 21st Century music as I do about learning it myself! The lessons are short and fun — perfect for a unit study, co-op, or just to use when you need a break from your regular curriculum, like now!  Add a musical instrument that your child would like to try as a gift, like this beginner’s guitar. This curriculum is a gift from Gena Mayo of

Yancy and Friends Praise Party

Yancy & Friends Little Praise Party DVD

Maybe you have little ones who aren’t old enough to truly appreciate 21st Century music. They’ll love this DVD music video that includes Christmas and Easter praise songs. This would make a great stocking stuffer. A portable DVD player with headphones would be extra fun. It’s a gift from


If I Were a Puzzle by Kenneth Good

What would a homeschool gift package be without a book? This picture book by a pastor teaches character and would be a great gift (along with a puzzle like this underwater scene floor puzzle) for your preschooler. It’s a gift from Kenneth Good.

Enter the giveaway below and then scroll down to check out the gifts exclusively for you.

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Great Gifts for Christian Homeschool Moms

Well Planned Day On the Go Planner The Well Planned Day, On the Go Planner  You have your Ultimate Homeschool Planner, but what about the rest of your life? The pretty Well Planned Day Planner tucks in your purse keeping your appointments and to-do’s organized with place for meal planning as well. Keep up with your goal to read through the Bible this year with the reading plan. Make this an extra-special gift for you or a friend by adding a set of my favorite erasable pens. The planner is a gift from HEDUA.   That I May Know Him Bible Study  The Christmas season is a perfect time for you to delve into a Bible study specifically about knowing the Lord better. It’s a short study, making it perfect for the busy holiday season. A new Bible with study notes would make this an even better gift.  This is a gift from Homeworks By Precept. The Renewing Your Mind Project  This book by Barb Raveling, a Bible study author who homeschooled her children, has changed my life. Next to the Bible, it is my #1 resource for managing emotions, changing habits, and meeting goals. I love it so much that the Kindle version is a gift from me to you. Add an “I Can Do Everything Through Him” journal to make this an especially generous gift for you or a friend. Moodstruck 3D Lashes Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+ Mascara from Younique  Not long after I started using Periscope, I saw a broadcast by Kristin Blackwell who demonstrated this mascara. It doesn’t just coat the lashes with liquid, but with fibers that make the lashes appear thicker–much thicker. I ordered it immediately and love it. The mascara is a gift from Kristin Blackwell. Add an eyelash curler as an extra gift. Norwex Window/Polishing Cloth  One thing that drives me crazy as a homemaker with many kids is keeping my windows clean. Why do kids feel the need to touch windows constantly? Cleaning them in the typical way involves lots of cleaner and paper towels that invariably leave residue on the windows. When I tried a Norwex cloth with plain water, I was astounded. It leaves my windows cleaner than any other method I’ve tried. My daughter helped me demonstrate in this Periscope broadcast. The Norwex cloth is a gift from me. Add a water mister bottle and you’re all set. Revlon ColorStay Overtime Lipstick  I am usually too busy and lazy to reapply lipstick. When it’s gone, it’s gone. When I learned that there was a lipstick that I could apply once and have it last all day, I ordered it right away. And it works! It lasts so long that the only way to get it off completely is to wash it off. I use a makeup-removing toilette. It can make your lips feel a little drier than with no lipstick on at all. I like to reapply the gloss at those times and I wear Carmex to bed at night to keep my lips moist all day. The lipstick is a gift from me. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you looking for more gift ideas? Check out 60 of the Best Christmas Gifts for Kids.

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