Thursday, May 27, 2010

Delightful Gluten free dinner

a slow cooker Oval Crock PotImage via Wikipedia


A wonderful neighbor brought me a recipe for an Italian Pork Loin cooked in the crock-pot and I paired it with Parmesan risotto and green beans sauteed with bacon and almond slivers. It's been a long time since I enjoyed a dinner as much! Thank you Kathy for the wonderful inspiration.

Even better, thank you Rice cooker and crockpot for giving me dinner with only about 30 minutes of prep work put into everything!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Work Life Balance Words of Wisdom

I started this blog as my journey into a comfortable balance of work, family and fun, but throw pregnancy into the mix and everything else goes out the door. We're nearing the end of this pregnancy and have hit the sleepless nights, can't get comfy, crazy dreams stage. I can't wait to meet my little girl and at this rate I'll probably get more rest when she gets here...maybe!

It's amazing how many people I've talked to lately have issues with work-life balance. A college roommate working up north, my Mother in law, my husband (although he would like a little more work in his balance)have all complained recently about the balance they have. It makes me wonder what about today's culture is driving us to make work our life instead of a means to support our life.

Don't get me wrong I love my job, but it is a job. J. O. B. Something that I do to support my family, pay my bills, and contribute to society. However none of those reasons are good enough to ignore my growing family, miss an important event or lose my personal time with the ones I love.

Working at home was a tough transition with this since I was suddenly in the "office" 24 hours a day. But whether you physically shut an office door at 5 pm or close and lock away the computer (pregnant women work from the couch around here!), you have to set limits and establish a quitting time when you shift from working bee, to your at home self.

My top 5 rules for working from home:
1. Set your schedule and STICK TO IT...If you have trouble with this, physically lock the computer away, turn it completely off and schedule an activity for yourself right at quitting time. Just a walk around the block will get you out of the house and back in a personal mind frame.
2. Get up, get dressed, and pretend you are going to the office. Your commute may have shrunk to 15 seconds, but you are still going to work. It will be much less tempting to turn on the TV and channel surf while you work if you are up dressed and at your desk at a normal working time.
3. Establish office space in your house. Having a place for your office supplies, computer, to work, will all make you more productive and give you somewhere to "leave" at the end of the work day.
4. Don't work weekends. Unless it's an emergency and you would be going into the office to handle it, don't work after hours and on weekends from home. If you do, co-workers will get used to having you available at all hours and will not hesitate to call. A polite but firm, "I'll handle that when I get to the office tomorrow", should let them know that you are offline and no longer working if they manage to catch you.
5. Work hard, but recognize that you are working...A lot of new telecommuters have trouble rationalizing not working crazy hours since they are at home. They take a break to throw in laundry or set a crock=pot for dinner and see it as a reason to need to work overtime. However in an office co-workers would take a coffee or smoke break, visit over cube walls, in other words, use the same amount of time in office social niceties that you are using in productive non work related matters. Cut yourself some slack, take a normal amount of break time and then get back to work so you can confidently call it quits at the end of the day.

Words of Wisdom from a Veteran Telecommuter! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Mother's Day and Austin Sweet Songs Benefit

Mothers Day Gift.Image by pixiepic's via Flickr

This weekend is Mother's day and I can't wait. Not only will I get to spend it with my son, my husband and extended family, I'll get to spend it surrounded by Moms and their families! I'm helping out at the Austin Sweet Song's CD release benefit party and the event has grown quite close to my heart! Not only is this great group of signer songwriters producing great children's music, but all proceeds are going to benefit the Austin Mother's Milk Bank. With several friends who are parents of early preemies, I know the important job the milk bank does and am very proud to do my part in helping their group out.

Earlier today I overheard a discussion at a coffee shop I frequent. The theme seemed to be what the ladies wanted in gift form for Mother's day. Although presents are always nice, I've never associated Mother's day with a major shopping holiday, mostly because gifts from the heart rarely seem found in stores. Shortly after the "what I want" discussion, a few friends of mine arrived and my confidence was restored as one of the ladies in my group pulled out a letter written by her son on plain, lined school notebook paper. The three short lines were simple and to the point...Thank You Mom...I loved it...It meant so much to me...Love your son. She teared up just reading it to us, then carefully folded it back up and put it away to read another day.

So all the flower shop ads and cell phone commercials aside, be sure to take a few minutes this weekend and recognize the mother's in your life with more than just a token gesture. A few thoughtful words, recognition of the round the clock job motherhood really goes a long way to warming our hearts!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies in my life! I salute you and know that no other job can be as hard or as rewarding!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Olivia was showered with lots of love!

We had a wonderful time at our Sprinkle on Saturday. Our friends and family were so generous and it couldn't have been a better way to kick off the homestretch of this pregnancy.

Hope you enjoy the pictures! :)