Tips to Keep the House Clean Without Slogging For Hours

A clean house is something that everyone wants. However, the effort and time that it takes to keep the house clean is something which is a challenge to many women in their busy lifestyles. Right from floor cleaning to keeping the furniture and other items free of dust is certainly a back breaking job. Here are some quick tips to that will help in cleaning the house in the matter of no time.

Tips to Keep the House Clean Without Slogging For Hours
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Stack your dirty clothes in a laundry bag

A quick and effective way of cleaning the house is to stop throwing things here and there. Clothes which need to be washed should be put inside the washing machine or a laundry bag and not on the racks on the walls. If you do a weekly laundry, you can store the dirty clothes in a laundry bag and get them cleaned at one go.

Keeping the floors clean

Floor cleaning is the most pain-stricken task. However, with the introduction of those sophisticated floor mops, it really doesn’t take much time to get sparkling clean floors. Keep the children away from making the floor dirty after they come back from the playgrounds and you would not have to worry about the cleanliness of the floors of your house.

Use feather dusters

Getting rid of dust is another major challenge while cleaning the house. While many people prefer using vacuum cleaners, but that proves to be a very cumbersome process. Even the handy versions of the modern day vacuum cleaners do not prove to be that handy while cleaning the house quickly.

Instead, feather dusters are a nice and quick way to get rest of the thin layers of dust on the furniture, blinds, showpieces and other areas of the house. If the dust layer is thick, you may have to go for a vacuum cleaner, though, but that would only happen if you do not carry out the dusting activities on a daily basis.

Chalk a routine and set the timer

You may want to plan a daily routine of house cleaning activities. Set a time against each activity and set the timer accordingly. You may want to do this for one room first and then gradually for all the rooms. After a certain period of time, you would not require the timer or the routine as you would be getting used to carrying out the cleaning activities seamlessly within specified time limits.

Be proactive

You need to remember one thing. If you take up the task of cleaning your house once in a blue moon, it would take a lot of time and effort. Piling up cleaning work for a weekend would actually make things difficult and more time taking. Instead, if you take a proactive measure and carry out the cleaning activities daily, it would not seem like a chore anymore and you would be getting a sparkling clean house without putting in much effort and slogging for hours.

While cleaning the house, you need to remember that you have to clean it from left to right and from top to bottom. That will ensure that you are not doing repetitive task of cleaning the same space more than once.

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Do You Know What Your Values Are?

One of the best places to start building your business is to begin with understanding what your values are. Here is a quick assessment you can use to determine what your top ten values are.

Values are the cornerstone of our families, but also of our communities. Values determine what we believe about money, free time, work, friends, clothes, politics, family, spirituality and more. Values drive our actions and add meaning to our lives. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children about values and to be solid role models. As a mother of two, I feel strongly that I am responsible for raising the next generation of leaders, teachers, workers, parents and citizens. While our children learn values from us, they also learn about them from friends, teachers, mentors and the world around them. As parents, one of our essential roles is to give children the tools to identify their own values and to give them confidence in their ability to know right from wrong.

Living a values-based life is equivalent to living a heart-centered life. When we understand how our values inform our decisions and influence our choices, we can help our children to see the world in new ways. Understanding and discussing our values and respecting the values of others allows us to model a heart-centered approach to relationships and communication that will improve our family connections across time. Values provide a strong foundation for our children so they feel prepared and secure to make big decisions at life-changing moments.

Curious what your values are? Here is a simple assessment you can do quickly to determine what your core values are. Click on image below to enlarge.


1. Put a circle around all of the words that you feel are important, right, or necessary. Circle up to 40 words on the list that for some reason are meaningful to you. Don’t think about it; just start circling! Give yourself about 3 to 4 minutes to do this.

2. Now go back and put a star or mark next to half of the words on the list. This is the list that is more meaningful to you, it doesn’t feel like a “should” or what society recommends, these are the words that are at the core of your own sense of what is important and what defines right or wrong for you.

3. Finally, narrow down that list by putting a line, highlighting or otherwise marking ten of the words. These are the words that drive you, internally motivate your decision-making process and define you as a person.

4. Take note of the original 40 words. How was it to cut the list down? Are there more than 10 words that need to go on your list? That is okay. The key here is to drill down to the critical core of who you are from a values-based perspective. Note that on your original lists from steps two and three, you may find words that were important to your family, your community or your church that feel like “shoulds.” Your goal is to create a very clear mental image of what matters to you and what you hope to pass on to your children.

I want to give kudos to my friend Kathy Garland, she was one of the women who helped me understand how to use values in my business and why they matter, along with being clear about our vision and mission.

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Zentangle-Inspired Art in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness

Our fabulous challenge this week from the Zentangle Diva was to create something representative of Hope in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. I loved what Laura wrote:

“But Breast Cancer is not the only reason to have hope.  i think each of us has had a situation in their lives when they felt like giving up, and for whatever reason – they didn’t.  That gives me hope.”

Thanks Laura for the challenge and the inspiration this week. This image of HOPE goes out to all my friends and family members who are struggling or who are survivors. I celebrate all of you this week and no that no matter the challenges you are facing at home or at work, you will pull through!

I chose to do 3 dimensional letters. I am working on a series of holiday cards and had also done the word hope on one of those but my daughter and I have been having fun with letters recently and this seemed like a great choice for this challenge. She helped paint the chipboard letters pink with acrylic paint. The letters came from Hobby Lobby and were on sale for about .50 cents each. I love a good craft sale! I will probably seal this with a clear acrylic finish to give them a bit of shine, too!

It was fun working on the letter shapes and using the shape itself as the guide for the string. Love my Sakura Micron pens that will write on anything!

I also want to say thanks to Rick and Maria of Zentangle for their leadership, passion and vision. I am officially an addict and a constantly refreshed artist, thanks to you.

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How Do You Feel About Change?

Does change spark the fear of God into you?

Does life get dull after 24 hours if nothing new happens?

Are you okay with changes in your diet but terrified of changing jobs?

Were you petrified of signing up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and sharing your thoughts and feelings with the world wide web?

The spectrum of how people manage change is broad and filled with bumps and potholes. People joke that nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes. The truth is, change is as certain as death. Change happens, constantly! From our cells and our skin to our conversations with our kids or the route we take to work, everything is in constant motion and could change in an instant. Are you ready?

One excellent example of making change happen was from Melissa Robinson Navarro’s post yesterday about starting a movement based on LML – Love my Life! What a great positive attitude. You can read her post here. Loved her positive attitude and willingness to ask all of us to change with her!

How me manage change is what makes the difference in our lives. How we manage change determines if we are successful in life, love and business. Trust me, I know. I have not always managed change gracefully in certain areas of my personal life – like acknowledging that my marriage needed more attention or that if I didn’t add regular exercise to my schedule, my body was going to revolt. In other areas, like packing up my life and moving across country or starting a new business with no knowledge or skills, I embraced change, sought it out and reveled in the newness of everything.

When I started my publishing company 10 years ago, I knew nothing about media, printing a newspaper, selling advertising or running a business but I was fearless and willing to learn. I was like a sponge, soaking up information, meeting people who could help me, shedding a few (okay, maybe a lot) tears of frustration when the publishing software didn’t do what it was supposed to or a client didn’t pay me. But I figured it out, I plowed ahead, sometimes fast and at other times slow. The journey was always eventful if not always profitable or what I expected it to be. I can tell you, I learned! I learned to fail gracefully, I learned to ask for money and help, I learned to succeed gracefully, too.

As I wrote yesterday, I just moved my whole family from Plano, TX to Santa Barbara, CA. It took some serious changes for all of us. Last night, when my daughter was sobbing that she wanted to go back to TX I just held her. There is no going back. We are here for the long haul. We are new at everything here, from boogie boarding and using baby oil to get the tar off feet to building a new business and settling into a new home. I can’t tell my daughter to just get over it, that change is necessary and good for the soul. Her feelings are valid and I am sad about who and what I left behind but I am not sorry. I just held her while she cried, I can’t take her back and I can’t fix it. I can model for her how to manage change with grace and ease, to take the challenges in stride, to shed tears and move on.

I think we should embrace CHANGE as a powerful value in our lives. The dictionary defines change: to make or become different; arrive at a fresh phase; become new. I value change for the opportunities it creates, the people I meet and the ideas that stem from everything being new again.

How do you feel about change? Are you terrified? Are you stuck in a rut? Are you refusing to settle because lack of change is worth than death. It’s important to know how you manage change in your own life!

Share your best tips on managing change in your life or your business here. I’d love your feedback.

Here are some affirmations I created to help you embrace the positive values of change:

Affirmations: I embrace change and am committed to improving my life daily.

I am ready and willing to change.

I take action today to change what I am not satisfied with.

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Have you Written a Personal Declaration of Indpendence? Freedom? Health?

Why Write a Personal Declaration of Independence?

It’s July 4th and the fireworks are still hours away. I went for a beautiful hike this morning with my family. My kids are such great trekkers and loved the rock hopping across beautiful pools at the top of the canyon! I am out of shape, ready to get back into shape and to not be breathing so heavily as I trek up the hills. My brother offered me his hand to get over a rock and I said “No, I can do it,” sounding more like my 10 year old than my self but I am determined to get in hiking shape again.

I am not the confident rock-hopper that my kids and husband are. I am overweight and out of shape. I have spent too much of the past few years working at a computer and making excuses for myself. July 4 is a great day to make a personal Declaration of Independence. I am declaring right now, publicly, that I am a fit, healthy 47 year old woman who easily hikes 6 to 8 miles. I am not sure how I am going to make that declaration a reality but it will happen, it is happening right now.

You might be thinking I am insane at this point or wondering if there is a point. Who cares if I need to lose weight and get fit? Here’s the point. Lots of posts on Facebook today about July 4, the Declaration of Independence and our founding fathers. My dear friend, Kathy Garland, has taught some amazing workshops over the years, including one called the “Power of Your Pen” which focuses on using declarations to make your ideas, dreams and goals become your reality. Declarations are very different from affirmations or just listing out your goals.

Countless times I heard Kathy talk about the Declaration of Independence and what a powerful document it is. She talked about how this group of gentleman risked everything to create a new reality that would become the United States of America. They had no idea at the time if it would work, if they could win the war against England, or if people would follow them as the future leaders. They only knew they were committed to a specific course of action and were willing to do whatever it took to make it happen. They couldn’t predict the future, see the outcome or stop the war. Not knowing did not stop them.

When was the last time you read the Declaration of Independence? 5th grade? Reading it as an adult gave me a much greater appreciation for our founding fathers. I thank them for their willingness to sacrifice everything for the future of this country. I am motivated by them to take the necessary risks, to have the same level of blind faith in my ability to change my own reality.

So many of us struggle with not knowing the outcome, or seeing the outcome as so far out into the future that we cannot begin to see the steps to get us there. If we don’t start to declare right now what we want our lives to look like tomorrow, nothing will change.

My family and I made a DECLARATION in January of 2011 that we would move to Santa Barbara, CA from Plano, TX in summer of June 2012. We are here now. It worked, despite the fears, the challenges, the worries and not knowing if everything would fall into place. We were 100% focused and committed to the outcome. But the outcome started with a personal and public declaration that we were willing to do whatever it took to get here.

Now that piece is done, I am turning my focus inward. I want to be healthy enough to enjoy and explore this amazing area and to be able to keep up with my kids tomorrow and 10 years from now. No more excuses.

I encourage you to use the power of Declarations to change your life! A Declaration should be specific and include a date when you want the outcome to occur but it should be bigger than a goal.

Want more help or guidance on using Declarations to change your life? Email me at to find out about my coaching programs. I love helping other women create a lifestyle that fuels their spirit and intellect while supporting their family.

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Are You Too Busy to Live your Life?

Beach mandala made from rocks and seaweed

I went to a new church in Santa Barbara on Sunday and loved the minister, his sermon was brilliant, creative, passionate and very pointed. You know that feeling when someone speaks and you just know they are talking to you? Even though I had never met this man before, I felt that way.

I was listening to his story, mostly paying attention, when he said something that really spoke to me. He said that we could all identify with being BUSY, everyone is so busy, crazy busy, endlessly busy… yep, it’s true, I thought. I am pretty sure I had used those exact terms within 24 hours of his sermon. I love to say I am CRAZY busy. Some days it’s true. For the past 6 months, my life has been ridiculous as we remodeled and sold a house in Texas, packed up our family and moved to California, all while my husband and I worked full time and took care of two active kids.

Sure, we are all busy, my life is not that different from most of you reading this blog, especially if you are a home-based entrepreneur and a parent. Add kids to any mix and busy-ness increases exponentially.

What Reverend Aaron McEmrys said after the laughter died down and we had all accepted that yes, we say we are busy all the time, was what really struck me. He asked, “What’s behind the busyness? What are you afraid of?” This is a BIG question, a life-changing question.

Generally, I like to be productive (notice I did not say busy) and to feel like I accomplished something every day but I don’t like to be busy and my husband likes it even less. In fact, when our kids were younger and we wanted them to experience so many different things, we enrolled them in two or three classes a week: soccer, Kindermusik, drama, gymnastics… AHHHHH!!! Suddenly none of us had any free time at all and it wasn’t working for our family. We all need quiet time, down time, time to do absolutely nothing but read a book or watch our favorite t.v. shows. We learned not to over-schedule ourselves or our children and we were all much happier without the mad dash between work, fast food for dinner, some activity, homework, shower, laundry, bedtime… Sound familiar? Too familiar?

There have been times in my business where I found myself spinning like a dog chasing her tail. I knew I would never catch up but I also knew that I was being busy for the sake of being busy, I was just going through the motions. If I looked busy, my business would look better, I would look better, right? What I realized was that I was focusing on the wrong things, like spending time checking email instead of writing a blog post or making sales calls or checking out a new networking meeting. All things I enjoy but say I am too busy to do.

What’s behind the busy-ness? According to Reverend McEmrys, it’s fear. Fear of loneliness, fear of invisibility, fear of inadequacy, fear of failure… pick your fear. It’s there. What are you afraid of? When you hide behind busy-ness you don’t have a chance to enjoy your life, to live your life to its fullest. I read a great blog today that asked “How many summers do you have left with your kids?” Yikes, only 5 left with my son. I want to enjoy as much as I can and my busy-ness definitely gets in the way.

On Saturday night after dinner, we could have watched t.v. We didn’t. We went to the beach to play for a while and watch the sunset. We made the mandala out of rocks and seaweed in the photo above. The kids built cairns from rocks and practiced their discus throwing and golf playing with what we found on the beach. We laughed hysterically when my husband hit the golf ball as hard as he could with the driftwood putter and missed! I caught it on video too. That wasn’t the best part of the video, though, it was my daughter skipping happily down the beach into the sunset. It was one of those halcyon moments we’ll remember in our later years.


I have two simple suggestions for overcoming busy-ness:

1. Stop making to-do lists you can never hope to accomplish. Instead make a list of 6 of the most important things you need to accomplish in a day, and don’t go to bed until they are done. Celebrate when you finish the list!

2. Find time to be quiet and do nothing every day!

My happiest and most creative moments stem from silence – driving in the car with no music on, sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee, a long walk on the beach, sitting in an airport or a coffee shop. You can be silent and mindful, even amidst chaos, if you choose to be.

I encourage you to find 15 minutes of silence every day – meditate, pray, write, draw, doodle or just sit. When I remember to do this every day, my day flows and I am productive, not busy and I feel so much better. When I enter the silence, I find there is nothing to fear and the action step to move me out of whatever fear I am trying to overcome in the moment is in the silence, if I make the time to listen.

What are your best suggestions for overcoming being busy?

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