How to make Halloween fun and stress free

How to make Halloween fun and stress free

I love Pinterest. I use it all the time for inspiration- however, my schedule doesn't allow me to do many of the labour intensive DIY projects that come up around the holidays. And in truth, even if I attempted them, I can guarantee that many of them would be an epic fail- I am not a patient person and the thought of waiting overnight for a decoupage project to dry just doesn't do it for me. Plus, I would probably forget to buy the essential ingredient needed, or buy the wrong kind of glue or what have you, and then be too lazy to go out and get it and I would be left with a messy, half finished project. 

But if you're like me and want your house to look cute around the holidays, but want to make the process as stress-free and fun as possible, today I have partnered with Delta faucets to give you a few simple strategies you can employ this Halloween (this entire list took me under an hour to do!) 

1. Create a candy buffet in glass jars

This is such a quick and simple hack- take glass jars (most of which I already had around the house) and fill with candy. My children thought this was the best thing ever. I used grey measuring cups and spoons with black handles that were already in my kitchen as serving utensils and let the kids have at 'em. To make it look Pinterest worthy, make sure each vessel is really full!

2. Stick pumpkins in anything to make it Halloween themed

I took a cloche with a black base that I normally have in my bathroom filled with soap, filled it with a $3.99 bag of white pumpkins and voila- instant Halloween themed (and kinda pretty) decor. Literally took me 2 minutes.

3. Unwrap store bought chocolate to make it look gourmet

I did go out and buy a spider web cake stand- and for half a second thought about making ghost themed cupcakes I found on Pinterest (chocolate base, white icing, and then add chocolate chip eyes and a mouth). But instead, I took Mr. Big small sized chocolates, unwrapped them, and put them on a platter. Looks pretty and saved me a ton of time baking!!!! 

4. Just use store bought decor 

Again, power to the moms out there who can create DIY tassels, use an icing bag like a pro and can spray paint like it's nobody business. For the rest of us- just go buy store bought, pre-made, made for you decor. These tassels were $3.99 at HomeSense, the BOO sign was $19 at Canadian Tire and most of the other decor items you see above I just had hanging around the house. 

 

Strategically I placed this entire operation on the counter in my basement kitchenette to make sticky finger clean up a breeze. My faucet is the Trinsic by Delta in the Champagne Bronze finish.

 

5. No stress face paint

Again, I had some lofty ambitions when it came to face paint- I had printed off templates to follow to create a gorgeous little butterfly face for my daughter. But she had other plans- so we rolled with it. 

Not going to lie, the perfectionist mom in me kept wanting to try to control the experience- but she was having so much fun making a mess I realized it was better to just let her do her creative almost 3-year-old thing. The results were spectacular.  Eventually we cleaned up our mess. In our family bath we have the Delta Vero single lavatory faucet in Champagne Bronze. 

 

How are you keeping Halloween fun and stress free this year? Love to know in the comments below. 

Special thanks to Delta Faucets Canada for partnering with me on this post. 

How to keep going when you have run out of steam

How to keep going when you have run out of steam

When you tackle a big project- like renovating a house, or creating a new product- you know you are going to face opposition. Regardless of how great your team is, or how strategic your plans are- it can still be really tough. Life can have a way of putting up obstacles at really inconvenient times.

The last three months of my life have been a real test of strength and stamina. During this period my family basically rotated a sickness from one person to the next. There was a period my husband and I were both so ill we literally just took turns napping in three hour increments. Being pregnant, there was very little I could take to get a little relief, so a terrible chest cold that made it difficult to lift my head some days just kept on keeping on.  

And somewhere in the last three months my husband had another period of mild depression.

So safe to say, the last three months have been a challenge. 

Thankfully, the coughs have cleared, Josh's period of depression passed (and he bravely shared about the upsides of depression so eloquently here), and we kinda feel back to normal. 

But when we were in the thick of things, nothing felt normal. Everything felt bleak. There was no light at the end of the tunnel.

Whether you're renovating the family home, or going through a time of personal stress, here are my strategies on how to keep going when you have run out of steam:

 

1. Sleep

Doesn't everything look different when you have had a good night's sleep? As I share in this blog post, I used to be a habitual night owl. I used to think that staying up late was better for all- I could spend more time in the day with my kids, working at night was simply just more strategic, etc. etc. But it meant I put sleep way on the back burner, and I know now it's just not worth it anymore. While I still find myself staying up late to accomplish tasks on occasion, I always feel better when I am in bed early, and wake up early.   

And I really believe in the power of a 15-minute nap. It might seem like it would be better to get through a few more tasks, or put out a few more fires with a 15-minute block in the middle of the day- but 15-minutes in the middle of the day can be a serious game changer for your mood- and I argue make it easier to deal with whatever crisis or challenge you must deal with. Got small kids at home? When I am desperate for rest I put the baby down for his nap, put on a television show for my 3 year old, and nap beside her. She's happy, and I get to rest, and world looks entirely different after a nap. 

 

2. Remember that everything passes

This is easier said than done, I know. But it's important to remember, that everything passes. Whether it's the epic amount of mould that was found when the drywall came down, a child being sick, or yes, even something as serious as depression, everything passes. The mould will be cleared, illnesses pass, and so do uncontrollable periods of mental illness. This is probably one of the harder strategies to remember in the moment- when I find it difficult to see the light I find it helpful to call a friend who is naturally positive- not someone who will try to fix me or who will criticize- but someone who will empathize and remind me that tomorrow is a new day.

 

3. Remember your purpose

I recently finished the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and let me tell you it was so worth the read. One of the many sections I found fascinating was why the Montgomery bus boycott movement was so successful. It was interesting to note that Rosa Parks was not the first person to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a bus in the segregated south. In fact, many had come before her. But there was something unique about Rosa's deep involvement in her local community- both black and white- that rallied people together. People mobilized because they cared about her, and that investment had a ripple effect across the United States. The belief in the cause- and shared belief among a group of people- caused serious change to happen. People were constantly reminded of their purpose- to fight injustice- because other people around them had the same belief. 

So when you are feeling like you just can't go on, remind yourself of the greater purpose behind your goal- whether it be a new family home that will change the lifestyle and productivity of your family, writing a piece of content that will really help people succeed, or simply being the kind of wife and mother you want to be– remind yourself of your purpose and it might just put the bad times in perspective. 

 

4. Just do the next right thing

When tackling a big project or going through emotional stress where the to-do list or mountain pile of duties seems unsurmountable, just do the next right thing. Perhaps it is picking the finish on your counters, making one more meal for your kids or just getting out the door for your day- just do the next right thing. Don't worry about the long list of things that are still to do- the act of doing the next right thing is way better than worrying about a long list and doing nothing at all. 

 

5. Remember that change is possible

I have recently been introduced to speaker Dane Sanders who in a recent keynote gave me a phrase that I find so helpful: "up until this point, I did _______. From now on, I will ____________." This is another strategy that might not be easy to think about in the moment when things looks really bleak, but is definitely a great phrase to use when you can see through the weeds and perhaps want to make change. 

How do you get through things when you have run out of steam? Love to know in the comments below. 

For more strategies on how to balance “it all”, enter your email below: 

HOW TO BALANCE
WORK AND FAMILY
My Five Step Approach: