Being green takes organization. It doesn’t just happen. If you want to do more than just pay lip service to being eco-friendly you have to make it a priority.
If we’re going to commit to doing our part for the environment and combating climate change we have to find time in our schedules to make green routines part of our daily lifestyle.
For instance, most of us compost in the warm weather months but how many of us actually shovel a path to our backyard composter in winter? It’s far easier to just toss food waste in the garbage.
Doing right by the environment takes discipline. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. It takes time, planning and focused effort.
Benjamin Franklin and Winston Churchill have both been credited to similar quotes about the failure to plan. Without a plan we’re essentially planning to fail. These men knew what they were talking about. Their success didn’t just happen.
So how do we make it happen? How do we put the environment front and centre in our lives? We start with what we want to do and then find the time to take action on a consistent basis.
Begin by saying no more often to stuff that isn’t as important so you can free up more time for what is.
Here are some ideas…
Buffer your time and car pool
Learn how to buffer your time better between activities so there’s room for things like carpooling or taking the bus instead of driving.
Reduce food waste by menu planning
Commit to reducing food waste and fuel by menu planning and trip chaining. Planning meals around what’s on special, searching out related recipes and scheduling them over the course of a week or month also saves money and time. It also means no more last minute trips to the grocery store or going through the fast food drive thru after work because you already know what’s for dinner (and lunches the next day).
Batch prep, slow cook and freeze more
Reduce your energy costs by planning more meals made in a slow cooker. Make two (or more) meals at once and freeze the extra. Or make a week’s worth of salads and soups in mason jars (ideal for times when family members can’t all sit down at the same time to share a meal). It’s takes only a few more minutes to make two of the same meal or different meals with similar ingredients.
Let’s go back to Benjamin Franklin for minute. He has been quoted as saying “For every minute spent in organizing an hour is earned.”
My best suggestion for getting better organized so you can become greener is to start with a family meeting. Get everyone in the family involved, big and small, and discuss ‘green’ actions as a family. Make a list of what you want to do, create a dialogue about why it’s important, create a plan and then figure out the best way to implement your routine action steps.
Better organizing your day-to-day is doable. It will take time to form positive green habits and your actions will need tweaking from time to time if they’re going to be sustainable but it is achievable.
One of the best ways to find more time in your schedule is to have a realistic estimate of how much time things you do on a regular basis take. Time yourself doing routine tasks like brushing your teeth, getting dressed in the morning (capsule wardrobes are ideal for speeding up the process) or commuting to and from work at peak times.
Timing yourself is not only great for scheduling purposes but it can be a real opener when it comes to the length of your showers and how much water you’re wasting. Trying to beat your previous shower time is a win win on many levels. Not only will you save more water but it will increase your morning efficiency and help you get up and out faster.
I could go on and on about all the things we can and should do on a regular basis in order take better take care of the planet we live on but I’ll stop here.
I welcome your feedback though about what you do to combat climate change and how you make time for your own personal green habits.
Okay, so I’ve decided you want to give a capsule wardrobe a try but the question is what should be in it? You want to create a wardrobe of clothing items that mix and match but also work well with your individual lifestyle. For me, it is quality, wash ‘n wear neutral clothing I can easily layer with a little colour thrown in here and there.
Let’s take a look the individual items you’ll want to include when creating a capsule wardrobe that reflects your personal style.
Tank tops are invaluable. I tend to wear them daily under my other shirts. They are also a must have piece for any see-thru blouses and sweaters you may have.
Generally I keep my tank tops neutral with the exception of a few more colourful ones for the spring and summer season.
Short sleeve T-shirts
I find my short sleeve T-shirts are the most versatile items I have in my wardrobe. They carry me through most seasons and can easily be dressed up or down.
I wear them alone, paired with scarves, blazers and have even been known to sleep in them.
The style options for T-shirts are vast. You'll find everything from loose and fitted options to V-neck scoop and crewneck styles. Select the style and colours that are the most flattering on you.
Long sleeve T-shirts
For fall and winter dressing, a long sleeve tee is a must. It can stand alone or be worn under a sweater when the weather is chilly.
Again, neutral is best here but you might also want to consider stripes.
Blouses and shirts
Depending on your lifestyle, you may wish to opt for classic style blouses or more casual shirts. Or, keep your wardrobe balanced by incorporating both.
There are many styles to choose from such a straight button up ones and pullovers to ones that wrap. You can opt for solid colours or prints.
You can easily switch up your look by pairing them with skirts, pants, or jeans.
Dressy or casual, blouses and shirts are key elements to adding varied look to your wardrobe.
Like T-shirts, the neckline on sweaters also varies from V-necks and U-necks to round-necks and crews.
Well it's good to have one bulky neutral sweater in your wardrobe, I find lightweight sweaters are more versatile and will carry you through more seasons. Lightweight options will warm you on a chilly summer evening but also layer well in the fall. They also often pair well with a bulkier vest or cardigan in the winter.
A good wardrobe isn't complete without a black dress. When it comes to more formal occasions, it's an essential piece.
Keep the one in your wardrobe that is not only the most versatile but the most flattering on your body type.
If shopping for a new one, aim for black dress that is classic with limited detailing. You want to be able to keep this piece for several years.
Who doesn't love a cardigan for warming you up on a cool day? It can also add a little flair to your look (in the case of a waterfall style) or if you favour a button up, it can come in real handy if you get a food stain on your blouse, T-shirt or tank.
Whether paired with skirts, pants or jeans, blazers can really dress up your look. Opt for styles that complement the other clothing items in your wardrobe. Blazers come in all shapes and sizes from classic to crop and long styles as well as signature waterfall styles.
Your lifestyle will determine whether or not a black skirt is a wardrobe essential for you. Personally I'm more of a pants girl so even though I do have a black skirt I tend not to wear it as much as I wear my pants and jeans. That said I did include it in this list of essentials as it can be a very versatile wardrobe item.
If you don't already have a black skirt you absolutely love but think you could benefit from having one in your wardrobe then shop for one that suits your body type. For instance you may not be a pencil skirt kind of person but a skater or A-line style maybe quite flattering. Also consider the length of the skirt that is the most attractive on you.
Jeans and pants
How you spend the bulk of your days will likely determine whether you favour jeans over pants. A combination of both that are flattering to your figure will cover you from day to evening.
Look for cuts and lengths that are most flattering on you. Not sure which styles are best? Go to a department store like Marks in Canada that features a variety of brands, styles and sizes to help you determine the best options.
When it comes to jeans and pants it's in your best interest to only invest in ones you love. As a wardrobe staple jeans and pants are the foundation of your wardrobe so select them wisely.
The bottom line to this above list is to always focus on quality over quantity and select fabrics that feel comfortable and are flattering to your body shape.
Of course there are many more items you can incorporate into a capsule wardrobe like shawls, leggings and jean jackets.
It's really up to you as to what you want to include or leave out of your closet. The important thing is to have fun playing around with your wardrobe and to create something that works well for you on a day-to-day basis.
We all deserve to have a wardrobe we feel good in.
When it comes to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best with your lifestyle you want to give some thought to colour and versatility as well as what kind of basics work with your personal style. Other considerations include the wisdom of purchasing quality items and how best to maintain your clothing so it lasts longer.
Keep things neutral
You want to look for neutral, versatile pieces that will pair with anything. The key here is to have a few items in your wardrobe that are subtle and don't distract from your statement pieces. These basics keep your wardrobe balanced.
Aside from complementing your statement pieces, your basics can easily be dressed up with accessories making them ideal for transitioning from day to night easily. Basics are also the key to travelling light and by having a few good quality basics in your wardrobe and some great accessories; it is unlikely people will notice you’re wearing the same clothing frequently.
Determine your style basics
When it comes to the ins and outs of basic wardrobe items there are several factors to consider. You'll want to give some thought to your preferred style. Your personal style is reflected in the neckline you like and in the style and length of your pants as well as the fabric (rayon, cotton) and the fit (fitted or loose) you prefer.
Not sure what style basics are best for you? Consider the basics you currently have in your closet that you wear most frequently and ask yourself why? Still not sure, whether you're more suited to a scoop than a V-neck? If that's the case, it would be good to go shopping, not necessarily to buy, but to try on a variety of styles to help narrow down your basic style preferences. It is also wise to consider the styles of the statement pieces you'll be mixing and matching your basics with e.g. crew and turtle necks accessorize well with longer, bulkier necklaces while V-necks work better with shorter ones.
Opt for quality over fast fashion
Invest in high-quality classic clothing items. The reason for this is two-fold. One, classic styles never truly go out of style and two, quality well-made basics will last longer and stand up to multiple washings than their cheaper counterparts will.
Wash your clothes less frequently
As personal stylist, I often get questions from clients re: how to make their clothes last longer. Personally I’ve found the key to having a sustainable capsule wardrobe is to wash my clothes less often. Aside from being better for the environment to wash less, my clothing lasts longer. When I come home from work I make it a habit to switch out what I'm wearing for more appropriate clothing for what I'm planning on doing next be that cooking the family dinner, house cleaning or just relaxing with a good book.
Sometimes I spot clean or in the case when something does need laundering, I hang it to dry versus throwing in the dryer. If it is something that wrinkles easily then I put it in the dryer for a short period of time, and then hang it to finish drying. Doing this also helps to preserve the fabric.
On an aside, if you look for basics that are a little roomier around the underarm area, you'll find they are less stinky after being worn for a day than basics that fit more snugly.
If you’re looking to streamline your wardrobe and maximize your mornings so getting up and out in the mornings is easier then a capsule wardrobe is the way to go.
The following five steps are geared to helping inspire and motivate you to create a capsule wardrobe collection personalized to you.
Step 1: Assess your clothing
Take everything out of your closet and put it into a huge pile on your bed. (Yes, you can keep your clothing on hangers for now.)
Only put back into your closet the pieces you absolutely love and can’t imagine getting rid of. Keep only the items you love wearing and make you feel good.
Then make a pile of clothes that no longer work for one reason or another. Clothes that are worn out, faded or just no longer fit you, work with your current lifestyle and most importantly, don't make you feel attractive or confident. Put this pile aside.
Sift through the remaining clothing on your bed and be honest about whether each item should be retained or passed on.
Step 2: Analyze the clothing you don’t like
Taking the time to do this step is very educational and helps make you a smarter consumer. It will also help you avoid making the wrong clothing and accessory purchases in the future. You may notice common brands, styles or fabrics in your discard pile. By identifying what these are you're better able to narrow down your focus to only the clothing purchases you’ll be happy with and will wear.
Step 3: Analyze why you love your remaining clothes
After you've taken a serious look at the clothing you don't like, it's time to give some thought to what you love about the clothing you've decided to keep. Making a list of your favourite items and what you love about them helps you define and articulate your personal style. It also makes shopping much easier in the future.
For instance, you may discover you have a favourite colour palette or notice you like a particular style of clothing e.g. I love long shirts and tailored jackets. I particularly like clothing that is classic, has clean lines, is comfortable and takes little maintenance.
My wardrobe is pretty much wash ‘n wear. Limited are the items that require steaming or ironing. You also won’t find any itchy wools or fabrics in my closet that aren’t soft and cozy.
Step 4: Create a wardrobe balance
Next, give some thought to your lifestyle and the type of clothing you wear most frequently. How many hours a week do you work (and the type of clothing required) vs. the time you spend working out or wearing more casual wear. For instance, can you wear the same or similar clothing to work as you can for a night out?
Where possible create a balance of items that can carry you between activities. Classic pieces you can mix and match are a good way to do this. Additionally you may want to dress down your work wear a little and dress up your casual wear a bit so you can wear the same or similar outfits more frequently.
Making a list (or better yet, a pie chart) of the different things you may do in any given week or month can also help you identify the areas of your wardrobe that could be tweaked a bit for optimum functionality and will allow you to get a lot more wear out of your wardrobe.
Step 5: Keep a list of wardrobe staples
By having a list of the staples in your wardrobe and keeping it handy (like on your phone or on a list in your wallet), you’re better able to identify the style you wear most and make it easier to find similar items that will coordinate when you’re shopping.
For me, black and grey casual sports pants that can be converted into capris or shorts are a mainstay in my wardrobe and lend themselves well to my work as a professional organizer. Basic black, white and grey T-shirts complete my typical work uniform, but also layer well with other items in my wardrobe.
So when I’m out shopping, I use my list of wardrobe staples to remind me to buy only items that work with these pieces. I also take select wardrobe staples with me (or an image on my phone, although usually not as colour accurate) as shades often vary and it's often difficult to find the perfect match if you’re relying on memory. Taking clothes with you to match is also helpful because you can try them on together and see if they look good. I can't tell you how many times, I've purchased single clothing items to match something in my closet only to get home and find they don't actually pair well.
Try to focus on multi-functional pieces that will work with more than one or two items in your wardrobe.
If after going through the above steps you’re still unsure of whether your capsule wardrobe truly reflects you and you need some further inspiration, look to celebrities you admire and take note of their style and the subtleties of how they dress. Consider creating a vision board with ideas from Pinterest and Instagram.
Need further guidance on how best to put together a capsule wardrobe together?
Consider hiring a personal stylist to help you create and maintain a capsule wardrobe that works. Like organizing, creating a capsule wardrobe isn’t a one-time thing. In order to make sure it continues to work for you, you have to regularly go through your seasonal items, keep items organized and update them as necessary.
Click here to learn more about my personal stylist services.
Personally, my capsule wardrobe has been a win-win for me. I am now much more efficient as I don’t have to spend time trying on multiple outfits. I can simply grab the appropriate outfit and go. I’ve also found I save a lot of time and money by being more intentional about what I buy.
A capsule wardrobe is essentially a wardrobe of key investment pieces that works really well with the other items in your closet. It helps you maximize your wardrobe so it can cover all aspects of your lifestyle from work to weekend wear and everything in between.
I love the fact that my capsule wardrobe is simple and suitable to my needs. It reflects my personal style and as such I’m inspired to keep it organized and colour coordinated.
A capsule wardrobe is also a stress-free wardrobe. Putting together an outfit that I feel good in is simple. I know I am going to look my best in any situation because I’ve invested to time into creating a wardrobe that works and allows me to get on with my day without having to spend time mixing and matching a closet full of items that don’t work for one reason or another.
I feel good about the clothing in my closet and the investment pieces that are the backbone of my seasonal wardrobe. I no longer have any clothing or accessory items that make me feel guilty about purchasing them or make me feel bad about a few extra pounds I may have put on.
"Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called "Wardrobe" in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. This idea was popularized by American designer Donna Karan, who, in 1985, released an influential capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces."
There are many different approaches to capsule wardrobes. I will explore these in future posts. Some people like Courtney Carver of www.bemorewithless.com and Project 333 likes to wear only 33 items (including footwear, outwear and jewelry) every three months and focuses on one season at a time while putting the rest in storage.
Personally, I find having my entire minimized wardrobe in one place works best for me
The main reason is if I don’t see it I forget about it. Since the weather in Canada is constantly changing I frequently find myself layering my clothing. Plus, I love thrift shopping and staying organized so I like to be able to grab something from my wardrobe and take with me when shopping to make sure it’s the right purchase. I rarely shop without an item from my closet to coordinate with. If I find something that works with another piece of clothing better than an item I already have in my closet, I buy it but then make a point of donating the other clothing item from my closet to charity ASAP.
"...The term is widely used in the British and American fashion media, and has been the subject of several popular television series. The term has come to refer to a collection of clothing that is composed of interchangeable items only, to maximize the number of outfits that can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be "key" or "staple" items in coordinating colours."
I also have yet to count the items I wear each season. That said, I am seriously considering giving Courtney’s approach of sticking to only 33 items a season, a three month trial. When I do, I will certainly blog about it. I am curious about what my magic number of clothing and accessory items is – is it 33, or maybe 28 or 35? Will my number fluctuate between seasons? Either way, I am interested in finding out.
By having a capsule wardrobe that works, I’ve reduced the amount of time I need to spend shopping which has been great. That said, I still enjoy the thrill of the hunt and thrift shopping experience but now as an intentional shopper who has the willpower not fall prey to impulse purchases.
You should love every single item in your closet and maximize your dollars per wear.
Why have more clothes in your closet than you actually wear?
I welcome your thoughts on having a capsule wardrobe. Please leave your comments below.
Family vacations, road trips and summer go hand and hand.
Whether you’ll be on the road for days or just hours, the following tips are bound to make everyone happy and the time spent on the road more enjoyable.
All it takes is a little planning, some creative ideas and you’ll be off on a family adventure you won't soon forget. It may even turn out so well you’ll want to do it again next year.
Hold a Pre-trip Family Meeting
Plan the route together including where you’ll stop along the way and make some decisions re: what songs will be added to a family playlist (for singalongs). Discuss what types of car games and activities each family member wants to do.
You may want to plan to play games like “I Spy” and The Alphabet game (where you find each letter of the alphabet on signs or cars). Create a binder for each child with travel activities, games and a map inserted into clear plastic sleeves. Pack some dry erase markers. Eliminate the "Are we there yet?" questions by having your kids follow the route on the map.
Get Active During Rest Stops
Whenever you stop for food, gas or a bathroom break make a point of doing some active games like Frisbee, playing tag, or timed races around the car (see if your kids can beat their time from the last stop) etc.
Refreshments to Go
Stock a cooler with fruits and veggies (e.g. grapes, apples, baby carrots and celery), homemade energy balls, protein bars, and granola bars.
Try to keep sugary snacks to a minimum to avoid sugar highs and reduce backseat fights.
For long trips, pack up different non-perishable snacks for variety each day.
Make a water only 'in the car' rule. Bring refillable water bottles (labelled for each family member). Pack a 4 L jug of water and refill individual bottles at rest stops.
Encourage drinking half an hour before a planned stop so everyone stays hydrated but you don’t have multiple pleas for bathroom breaks along the way..
Limit the use of electronics by implementing a point system to earn screen time. Activities like family game participation or individual reading/ journal time can be given a certain number of points..
Older kids could earn more personal screen time by using their smart phones to look up information about the area when you’re driving through and sharing it with the rest of the family.
Prepare for Motion Sickness
In addition to a first aid kit you may want to consider packing a travel sickness bag. Such a kit should include a large sealable bag packed with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, a hydrating drink like Gatorade, bottle of water, motion sickness meds, bread sticks or soda crackers, sea bands, a couple of plastic bags, a second large sealable bag and a garbage bag.
*Surprise bags either individual or group (shared activity) to be revealed at select times during the trip.
*Buy baking sheets from the dollar store and use as magnetic and activity boards (affix a peel and stick white board or chalkboard sheet). Kids can then use magnetic letters or play with toy cars on a hand drawn roadway. If your child wants to make friendship bracelets simply bring along some embroidery string and a roll of tape to secure the string to a baking sheet.
*Keep entertainment within arm’s reach by filling a suctioned shower caddy with toys and games and securing it to the side window they are sitting next to..
*Make car naps or individual music/podcast time more enjoyable by bringing along throw pillows packed inside regular sized pillowcases and a different coloured sleep mask for each child.
*When travelling with young kids, keep food mess to a minimum by covering your car seats with a fitted sheet. Use twin size sheets for bucket seats and a double or queen for bench seats.
*Make snack time fun by filling plastic Easter eggs with surprise snacks and pack them in an egg carton.
*Before the trip have young kids make their own edible necklaces (e.g. with pretzels, Cheerios, Fruit Loops on string licorice) to enjoy along the way,
*In addition to non-perishable snacks like granola bars and trail mix, assemble and pack single portions of healthy snacks like celery and peanut butter, or assorted raw veggies and dip in lidded mason jars. Place the peanut butter or dip in the bottom and add the vegetables on top for a relatively mess-free snack.
*Create a DIY travel LEGO case by repurposing a metal lunchbox. Insert a green LEGO board and fill with LEGOs.
*Make an “I Spy” bottle by filling a 2 L pop bottle or sealable clear plastic bag with rice, small toys, beads, buttons, and other colorful objects. Create a checklist (visual or text) to go along with the bottle (or bag) and have your child cross off each item once it’s been spied.
Last but not least, bring clean BBQ tongs for all those dropped toys and sippy cups.
For more 'Family Road Trip Tips & Ideas' watch...
Do you struggle to try to get everything done but feel you fall short at the end of the day? I can relate as I used to stay up late and get up early in an attempt to get everything done.
I also regularly tried to pack in some self-care like taking a relaxing bath or meeting friends for coffee or a walk.
The problem was I would pack too much into a typical day. I keep adding things to my schedule and found myself rushing from activity to activity and ended up compromising my health. I wanted to do it all but my energy would either peter out before the day did or I unrealistically would pack so much into a day that there was no way I could get it all done.
That was when my 'to do' lists were long and my frame of mind was in a totally different place. Today, I make my 'to do' lists on a piece of paper the size of a post it note and don't put as much pressure on myself.
What changed, you may ask? Well aside from the simple facts that my life was leaving me feeling drained and my health was starting suffer, I finally took a breather and stepped back from the busyness of my life long enough to ask myself, “Why I am I doing all this?”
The people in my life were taking a back to all the stuff I was trying to do and fit into my already full life.
As a small business entrepreneur, I was juggling multiple clients, taking classes and was doing a variety of different things in order to help others and chase the almighty dollar. Unfortunately it came at great personal expense. While I am passionate about my professional organizing career and coaching others, it can also take too many hours away from other things that are important to me, like my family and friends.
In short, I was too busy for my own good, and the good of my loved ones.
I was aiming to be all I could for everyone in my life. The reality was I wasn't super woman and I wasn't perfect but I sure was acting like I was. I became a great juggler of many things at once and a pro at packing lots of stuff in a day with little space between.
For some reason, I operated under the belief my ‘to do’ list was temporary and one day my inbox would be empty and my life would be calm, relaxed, and happy.
Boy was I wrong!
The reality was that as soon as I checked the items off my 'to do' list there were more to replace them. The list of things I had to do in a day felt endless, not to mention, overwhelming.
The inbox of my life was always full of stuff left to accomplish. The reality is I will never get everything done, nor will you.
A light bulb moment came around the time I read something Richard Carlson, PhD and author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff book series, wrote about the importance of reminding yourself that when you die, your inbox won't be empty.
His words sure hit home! He made a good point. An inbox is meant to have ‘to do’ tasks in it and by its very nature is not supposed to be empty.
If we live our lives based on the stuff that automatically gets put in our inbox (if we don't say no) no wonder so many people find themselves overwhelmed. It’s the best recipe for exhaustion, I’ve ever come across.
Why is it that we feel we have to do so much?
We often find ourselves uber busy and doing stuff that in reality isn’t important. Unfortunately far too many of us are caught up in the cycle of trying to be everything to everyone. We wear all our accomplishments like a badge. Being crazy busy, as exhausting as it is, is just what we do, it's what society seems to expect. If you slack off you're an underachiever. And, slowing down and not keeping pace with of everyone else is unthinkable.
It was only when I acknowledged that one day I'm going to die leaving a heck of a lot of stuff unfinished that it really hit me. So, if that was going to be my reality anyway, why was I spending so much of my time trying to do it all?
Regardless of what I did or didn’t do now, my plate at the end of the day was still going to be left unfinished.
I took a serious look at what I was doing. Was I spending time on important stuff and with people who were important to me? Yes, to a certain extent but I was also wasting a lot of time on stuff that really wasn't important and in the big picture of my life was actually holding me back from what I should be focusing my energy on.
My life was unbalanced. I was more exhausted and stressed than I was happy and content. Inner peace was a foreign concept and my sense of well-being took a backseat to a feeling of overwhelm.
I decided it was time to end my obsession with trying to do it all. I started spending time making lists of things that were personally important and things that were not. I also started prioritizing better and dropping items from my ‘to do’ list.
I remain a work in progress and still struggle with finding a healthy balance of the things that really do need to get done with the things that are important to me. Now that my ‘to do’ list is shorter and only filled with my priorities, my day-to-day is much easier to schedule, I’m happier and I have more energy to enjoy the important stuff.
Is your personal inbox overflowing?
I welcome your feedback re: the steps you’re taking to reduce the stress and overwhelm in your life.
What have you found that works and what challenges do you still face?
Please leave your comments below. Thanks and have a beautiful day!
Life can be busy, but when it is, it’s all that more important to find ways to stay connected.
Here are 5 good ways to keep that bond with your kids despite the busyness.
Unplug and Be Present
Tech-free interaction is key to getting and staying in touch with our kids. Live in the moment and enjoy it. Kids grow up far too fast. Be in the moment as much as possible every day.
Bond Over a Project
We can all benefit from a team accomplishment. Schedule a basement clean up or a Saturday morning house clean. Then celebrate a job well done with a family reward.
Schedule Family Dinners
Eating together as a family every night may not be doable but schedule as many family dinners as possible and make the most of them. Incorporate some fun questions and silly games.
You can never hug too much. Kids of all ages need physical contact. Hug frequently, give shoulder massages, back scratches and foot rubs.
Life can be busy but taking the time to put a love note in your young child's lunch box, leaving a post-it note on your teen's bedroom door or sending regular thinking of you texts or notes of encouragement can go a long way to building self-esteem and making your child feel loved.
How do you stay connected when life is super busy? Please share your tips and ideas about what works for your family.
Please leave your comments below. Thanks and have a beautiful day!
Today’s kids are so plugged into technology it’s little wonder, grandparents feel so disconnected from their grandchildren. Aside from having a basket for them to place their devices in when they enter your home here are a few ways to carve out a little ‘connection’ with the younger generation.
Share a Favourite Spot
Take your grandchildren to a spot that has a special meaning to you. It could be a hiking trail, a beach or a park. Sharing your love of nature can be a catalyst for bonding.
Sharing a little family history with your grandkids can go a long way to making them feel part of a greater ‘whole’. What fond memories do you have of your childhood or their mom or dad’s? Share them via a story swap. Decide on a topic and then either take turns telling the story to each other or with older kids, write down your stories and then swap them.
Garden with the Grandkids
If you have a green thumb share your love of gardening with your grandchildren. Get them some kid-sized gardening gloves and tools and introduce them to seeds and soil. Gardening offers up not only some quality time together but it’s also a good way to teach kids about nature and sustainability.
Crafting is more than simply being creative. A joint craft project is a good way to engage and share in the benefits of working together as a team.
Do you have some good tips for connecting with the younger generation? If so, I'd love to hear them.
Please leave your comments below. Thanks and have a beautiful day!
Has texting replaced talking or has yelling at your kids become more common than playing with them? Granted, life can be busy, but being in constant ‘disconnect’ is unhealthy and can really have a negative impact on all members of the family.
Instead, find creative ways to reconnect and grow your relationship.
Here are some of my favourite ways to connect with the young people in my life…
Take Your Kids on a Date
We typically schedule dates with our spouses, so why not our kids? Carve out some one-on-one time, take them out to breakfast, lunch and a matinee, or be game to try an activity of their choosing.
Share an Adrenaline Rush
Want to really bond with your kids? How about taking them bungie jumping, zip lining, or white water rafting? A little too adventurous for you, how about go carting, bumper cars or horseback riding? The key is to get your heart racing with an exciting activity.
End the Day with a Snuggle and a Chat
Bedtime is often the best time of the day to catch up. Create a one-on-one night time ritual with each of your kids. You can encourage conversation with questions like ‘What’s the best, worst or silliest thing that happened to you today?’ If you child isn’t too talkative, that’s okay. Just having you present and available to snuggle and listen can mean the world to a child.
I'd love to hear about some of the ways you enjoy connecting with your kids, grandchildren or nieces and nephews.
I welcome your comments below.