Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Why I Switched From Limelife Planners to Blue Sky Planners: Planners Like Erin Condren

It's a planner post! I've haven't done many of these lately because...well, I've stuck with Limelife Planners for years. But I'm making a change for 2019.  Before I reveal my 2019 planner, let's take a look at my past (and current) Limelife planners.

They are adorable! And I've got nothing but LOVE for Limelife. I've even worked with them as a media and blog contributor. (More of my Limelife pieces here, here, here, and here.)  The people that work for and run the company are truly some of the sweetest people I've encountered. And I would 100% recommend their planners. Honestly, out of Limelife, Erin Condren, Inkwell, and Plum Paper Planners, I preferred Limelife a thousand times over. I loved the quality, their designs, layouts, and their add on's. why I stuck with them for so long.

But I decided to switch it up for 2019. If Limelife has all these great things then....why? There were two big reasons as to why I decided not to purchase another Limelife planner.  The first reason is that I want a very minimalistic design. I want something that felt simply elegant. And although Limelife's designs are certainly beautiful, minimal is not the word I'd use to describe them. The second reason was the price tag. A 7"x 9" weekly planner with Limelife starts at $55. I just didn't want to spend that money on a planner if it wasn't EXACTLY what I wanted.

So... what planner company did I decide to go with?

Blue Sky Planners. I reviewed them a while back when I was comparing Erin Condren Life Planner alternatives and cheaper or more affordable planners that were like the Erin Condren Life Planner. (Like many planner lovers, I started my adult planner journey with Erin Condren but soon started looking for something else.)  I remembered Blue Sky Planners because I loved the quality. I also remembered them having both Limelife-like cover designs AND very minimal cover designs. So I decided to check them out.

The tricky thing about Blue Sky is that you have to go to multiple places to see all of the designs available. They aren't all listed on the Blue Sky Planner website.  Some of the designs are only at Target and some can be found at Walmart.  (Keep in mind the planners listed on the official Blue Sky Planner website are pricier. But the website also offers a customize option.)

I did quite a bit of searching before I found this one and fell in love. And it was much less costly than Limelife and Erin Condren. It isn't customized. But I don't really need or want the customization. I've never put my name on the cover of my planner. (I'm much more of an inspirational-quote girl.)

For $19.99 this 9.25" x 8.45" monthly/daily planner includes:

  • A hard, durable cover with "gold" accents
  •  Wire binding
  • Contacts section
  • Sticker sheets
  • Notes section
  • Yearly reference calendars
  • Coated tabs
I absolutely love the inside of the front and back covers. It's a detail that sold me. It's about the same size as my 2018 Limelife and exactly what I was looking for. Take a look at the pictures down below!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Enhance the Flavor of Your Food With Gluten Free Spices

 Written by a contributing writer

Whether you have celiac disease, an allergy to gluten, or need to consume a low-carb diet, you might be wondering if you will be stuck eating bland foods for the rest of your days. Fortunately, there are gluten-free spices available to liven up the dishes that you prepare. These spices work well on fruits, vegetables, meats, legumes, and more. Your taste buds will thank you when you try out some of these flavor combinations.

Spices to Try on Fruit

Whether you prefer your fruit fresh, stewed, or baked, you can enliven its taste with some spices. A classic is cinnamon. Stick with Ceylon cinnamon, which is a true cinnamon. It pairs well with apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, bananas, and berries. You can sprinkle it on to freshly sliced fruit, stewed fruit, or baked fruit. It works especially well as a topping on a fruit crisp or a pie with no crust. Some other spices for fruit include nutmeg, tarragon, allspice, and ginger.

Spices for Use on Vegetables

There are many spices without gluten that will taste great on your vegetables. Sprinkle the spices directly onto raw vegetables or add them to vegetables in a stir-fry. Roasted vegetables also pair well with spices. Consider trying spices such as garlic, onion, chili powder, basil, oregano, rosemary, mint, star anise, chives, or sage. Experiment with combinations of spices, such as garlic with basil and oregano for Italian roasted root vegetables.

Spices to Add to Proteins

Whether you consume fish, poultry, meat, or legumes as a source of protein, there are many wonderful spices to add to your dishes. Some gluten free spices that taste great on lentils and legumes include curry, chili powder, garlic, saffron, and cilantro. Add some garlic and tomatoes for a full spectrum of flavor. When seasoning fish, try lemon pepper and garlic. For poultry, curry and garlic are excellent. Basil, oregano, and pepper work well on fish, poultry, and meats of all types.

Busy Being Busy: Making The Most Of Your Time When You're A Mom

Written by a contributing writer 

Mom guilt is something every mom will go through at some stage; having kids is a rewarding, but tough role, and you’ll be left with little to no free time. Stepping back into a working role post-maternity leave, or after time away spent raising your family can be daunting. Many working mothers fear that they are not going to do as well parenting when they go back to work to pursue their career and at the same time, also not do as well as an employee as they did pre-children. However, once you’ve mastered the juggling act of doing both (and don’t worry, you’re totally able), you’ll hopefully feel fulfilled in each aspect of your life, and probably very tired at the end of each week. The following are some ideas and inspirations for busy moms (all moms) who need a helping hand when it comes to a balance between their working life and life with the kids home.

Image source:

Your Time Is Your Time

There will be free time in the evenings, weekends and holidays, and if you make the most of it; you’ll begin to notice and appreciate your free time even more. Whether you want to study for that operations management online degree to further your career, or you feel like binge watching some shows on Netflix to unwind; make sure that you’re doing what you want to do. Don’t be dictated by what you feel you should be doing; this will only add to all that mom guilt.

When you’re out of the work or office space, and you and the family have some time together; make plans. You don’t have to spend a fortune dragging everyone around a theme park (this is still an option though). Family walks, adventures, and picnics are all enjoyable ways to hang out together, make memories, and won’t cost a fortune. If you do feel like spending some of your hard-earned salary on treating your loved ones, then planning a vacation together is something everyone can look forward to. On the run up to your getaway, part of your free time in the evenings can be spent with your family, making plans on what you want to do once you get there, and enjoying the countdown.

Enjoy Them More

Whether you’ve just stepped foot in the office, or through the front door at home; you need to be present in that environment and learn to switch from one to the other. Obviously, you never stop being a parent; but worrying all day at work about what your kids are doing, wearing, or eating, isn’t going to help make you a productive member of your work team. It’s then important to be able to switch off from total mom-mode, in order to get on with your workday.

The same goes for when you’ve arrived home after work; make sure your kids don’t feel your stresses from the work day and be in the moment with them for dinner, bath, and bedtimes. Just because you’ve gone back to work, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the everyday special moments together as a family. But, bringing a pile of work home physically or mentally, will have a negative impact on your mood, which will filter down to your kids.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fighting The Jet Lag Symptoms

Written by a contributing writer

Fall is here! And that means holiday travel is just around the corner. Traveling is a lot of fun, except when you find yourself suffering from a bad case of jet lag. There’s nothing worse than feeling too exhausted to enjoy the adventure. And while it takes only a few days for your body to go back to normal, it also means that you may not be able to enjoy any long-distance trip of a couple of days – as your body can’t adapt quickly enough.

Unfortunately, without medicine to take the edge of your jet lag – aside from sleeping tablets if you’re struggling to sleep at appropriate times –, you are left in an uncomfortable position. Apart from tiredness and difficulties sleeping, jet lag is also associated with digestive problems such as constipation, indigestion or bloating, which can also affect the quality of your trip. Ultimately, as sleeping tablets are not for everyone – and may not solve the underlying issue – you may need to get creative to fight off the jet lag effect for short trips!

Jet lag, the agony of travelers

The dilemma: Sleeping on the plane or not?

One of the most common issues on a long flight is to know whether you should sleep or not, and more importantly how to shift your sleep schedule when flying long distance. Indeed, as travel impacts on your biological clock – ultimately the jet lag is the result of being ‘out of sync’ with your destination – you can adjust your body to new sleeping patterns ahead of your journey. An in-flight plan to help you to relax and take a power nap can make all the difference too!

Your emergency beauty bag

Long flights or flights happening during your usual night time can leave you feeling miserable on arrival. Your face is pale. Your eyes are red. Your hair is all over the place. Ultimately, you don’t really feel confident about the person who’s looking back at you in the mirror of the airport. Never underestimate the power of makeup in the morning. Pack a little bag of essentials you can use to look refreshed and alert once you arrive. Nothing beats a clean foundation and a little lipstick!

A breakfast of champions

You might not feel hungry after a long flight, but picking the right breakfast can fuel you for the rest of the day – and help your body get over the jet lag effect. The classic bowl of oats can work wonders and keep you running all day without crashing! Something as simple as a glass of water can encourage your body to rehydrate and maintain its normal functions.

Do a no jet lag workout

Can sports be the answer? According to experts, you can and should exercise ahead of your flight to reduce your jet lag. An intense workout can help you to sleep on the plane. Make the most of the moments of alertness in-flight to keep your blood flowing with easy leg extensions, and glute squeezes. A moderate intensity workout after your arrival can help reduce jet lag symptoms too – assuming that you don’t push yourself too much.


From preparing your body to adjust to new sleep patterns to fueling it with the best nutrients, there are some tips to reduce your jet lags. You can never eliminate it completely unless you opt for sleeping tablets. But feeling a little tired is better than being unable to function during your holiday!