Here’s a question that I get ALL the time, “How do you do it all?” Between family, work and writing there’s no question that my life is full. Very full. I love it. Let’s be honest though, I don’t do it ALL. I have an amazing team at work. I have seven wonderful daughters. I have the best husband in the entire world. I have a ton of terrific friends. I ALSO have a host of favorite things that make my life a little easier.
Every single time I talk to a busy momma I feel compelled to share the things that I use to make my life more simple and enjoyable. Here’s a few of my favorite things:
(Note, these are NOT affiliate links and I will make no money from your purchases. Simply enjoy and bless a momma in your life with one of these wonderful gift ideas)
I love, love, love, love, love, love my Instant Pot. It is honestly the BEST thing that my husband has ever purchased for me. He won bonus hubby points for the next decade (shhhhhh, don’t tell him that) for this one gift alone. Don’t believe me about the amazing-awesome-fantasticalisticness of this item? Read the 4,780 (at the time of this posting) reviews on Amazon. Trust me. This will become her most favorite thing within a week of opening it. Cut dinner time by 1/2 or more? I call that a SCORE!
When the research on the therapeutic benefits of adult coloring started peppering my Facebook News Feed I rolled my eyes. But then. There’s always a “but then.” I saw friend after friend buying them, some selling them, and everyone loving them. I decided to try it out for myself. I LOVE IT. Who knew? A few nice coloring pencils, gel pens or felt-tipped markers and a great coloring book with lots of detail = calm, focus and creative thinking. There are A LOT of options for these. Here’s the specific one that I have, and love.
Like coloring books it took me a minute to get on the Essential Oil bandwagon. Why? Why Oh Why? I don’t know how I ever lived without them! From helping me to get over and prevent sickness, to helping me sleep, helping me with common aches and pains, helping to heal wounds and simply just smelling my house with amazingness — ESSENTIAL OILS ROCK! Take a look for yourself about the benefits of essential oils. Any of these amazing starter kits would be a hit!
One of the most important tools in the Essential Oil toolkit is a diffuser. Taking all of the amazing scents and diffusing them throughout your home is delightful. There are, of course, a ton of benefits to diffusing essential oils too. I love my diffuser so much that I have three of them in my house and one in the office. There are lots of great options for diffusers on Amazon too.
For YEARS this has been…. well, the “secret” to my success. I drink Spark EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Truly. Since 1996. It’s a fantastic b-vitamin and branch chain amino acid supplement which not only gives me the “umph” to get through the day but also the clarity and focus I need to get stuff done. I love the fact that it’s sugar free and doesn’t give me the “jittery” feeling that other energy drinks seem to. I became an Advocare distributor for one reason – to buy Spark for myself!!! I’m sure you know someone who sells Advocare. If you don’t sign up to be a distributor for yourself, it’s worth it!
When my daughter, Elizabeth, first got me this “expensive” eye shadow set a couple of years ago, I thought it was an incredible waste of money. Well. She was right. This set of eyeshadow has saved me MUCH more than it cost (even if I had paid for it). The colors are so versatile and the pigment so great that I use it all the time yet it lasts FOREVER, well at least a few years. And (guys may not understand this, but I promise your busy momma will) the black eyeshadow and neutral browns can double as eyeliner and brow color — BONUS SCORE! Buy it! She will LOVE it.
The only exercise that I truly enjoy is running (walking, jogging in other people’s language. I prefer to call it “running.” It makes me feel better. Got it?). I love “running” but one of the constant irritations when I get up to a good “stride” is the cords from my headphones, especially if they are making my music skip. It sounds petty, but it matters. It REALLY matters. I love not having to deal with the cord, being able to answer my calls during my “run” and the amazing sound that is the Beats trademark.
Lashes. They are either the glory or the bane of every woman. For those born with the blessing of long, curly and gorgeous lashes. Ugh. I
hate envy you. I’m the opposite. Short, dinky lashes that barely show up after 50,000,000 coats of mascara. Easy, you say. False lashes. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!!!!! Plus more glue ends up on my hands, nose, cheeks, etc. than ends up on my eyelid. The reality of gluing my eye shut is a real fear, and genuine possibility. Enter 3D Fiber Lashes. WHAT?!? It works just like mascara but gives me twice the length! You can ACTUALLY SEE my eyelashes. Miracle. There are tons of these available. My favorite, by far, is the Younique Fiber Lashes. This would be a GREAT stocking stuffer. You’re welcome.
The benefits of epsom salt baths have been known for generations. Relaxation, magnesium, detoxification, skin improvement, and more. I LOVE them. I always feel a ton better after a good hot soak in a tub full of Epsom Salt. And, if you go for the Essential Oil suggestion above, a few scoops of Epsom Salt + lavender oil = ONE HAPPY & RELAXED MOMMA. Now, I know that’s worth something! Throw in a few candles and peace & quiet for 30 minutes and you’ve got yourself a winner. Here’s a few on Amazon, but you can buy Epsom salt anywhere.
If my husband had Mecca, Costco would be it. He LOVES Costco, and I love that he does. It’s a joke around our house that Costco is “Dad’s mistress” because he’s there so much. The truth is that my number one love language is Acts of Service. I love to cook but HATE (hate isn’t a strong enough word) grocery shopping. Plus, until just the last few months I’ve pretty much been cooking for an army for years. So bulk groceries was a must around our house. He likes Costco. I hate grocery shopping. It’s an “act of service” to bring home the groceries for me. Win. Win. You may not have a Costco in your area, but if you DO have a bulk wholesale warehouse, trust me, for busy mommas – it’s WORTH IT.
Okay, it might be a bit selfish to include my own book series in a list of great gift ideas. I’m sorry. Seriously, though. If you know a busy momma who has considered Foster Care or Adoption as a way to help children who have no one, or to add to her family, the first Ready or Not book is a perfect gift idea. Foster Care and Adoption are wonderful but they are not easy. Before she takes that big step, give her the gift of 30 days of prayer and scripture to hear God clearly on His call to the orphan. Also, if you know a busy momma who is already a foster or adoptive momma and is feeling battle-weary and tired, the second Ready or Not book is a perfect gift idea. The journey of foster care and adoption can sometimes take it all and we end up feeling like we have nothing left to give. The good news is that our Heavenly Father gives immeasurable and unending grace and good things to us, especially when we are weak because He is strong. The second book gives battle-weary parents a chance to slow down and spend 30-days with Jesus to catch their breath.